David Rosenboom

School of Music


Click below for a track from Systems of Judgment
Part 7
"Meaning In Context"

Click below for a track from Bell Solaris
Movement 4:
"Phaeton Reaches for the Speed of Light"


David Rosenboom (b. 1947), is a composer, performer, conductor, interdisciplinary artist, author and educator. He has explored ideas in his work about the spontaneous evolution of forms, languages for improvisation, new techniques in scoring for ensembles, cross-cultural collaborations, performance art, computer music systems, interactive multi-media, compositional algorithms, and extended musical interface with the human nervous system since the 1960's. His work is widely distributed and presented around the world and he is known as a pioneer in American experimental music.

Rosenboom has been Dean of the School of Music and Conductor of the New Century Players at the California Institute of the Arts since 1990 and was Co-Director of the Center for Experiments in Art, Information and Technology from 1990 to 1998. He taught at Mills College from 1979 to 1990, was Professor of Music, Head of the Music Department, Director of the Center for Contemporary Music, and held the Darius Milhaud Chair from 1987 to 1990. He studied at the University of Illinois with Salvatore Martirano, Kenneth Gaburo, Lejaren Hiller, Soulima Stravinsky, Paul Roland, and Gordon Binkerd, among others, and has worked and taught in innovative institutions, such as the Center for Creative and Performing Arts at SUNY in Buffalo, New York's Electric Circus, York University in Toronto, where he was Professor of Music and Interdisciplinary Studies, the University of Illinois, where he was awarded the prestigious George A. Miller Professorship, New York University, the Banff Center for the Arts, Simon Fraser University, the Aesthetic Research Centre of Canada, the San Francisco Art Institute, and the California College of Arts and Crafts.

His music, performances, and productions have been recorded on various labels, most recently on Centaur Records, Lovely Music Ltd., Cold Blue, Pogus Productions, Tzadik, Black Saint, West Wind, Elektra Nonesuch, Frog Peak Music, and others. Examples of his recent projects include Bell Solaris (twelve movements for piano) and Seeing the Small in the Large (six movements for orchestra), both exploring new ideas about counterpoint and musical transformation; a recording project, Chanteuse, about new concepts in song forms with performance artist, Jacqueline Humbert; a self-organizing, multi-media opera involving brain signals, On Being Invisible II (Hypatia Speaks to Jefferson in a Dream); a modular score for instruments, whispering voices, and interactive systems, Naked Curvature, composed for the California EAR Unit; performances of little known, pioneering music from the David Tudor Archives at the Getty Research Institute with colleagues, Vicki Ray, Mark Trayle, and Ron Kuivila; a new recording of Zones of Influence, a concert-length work written for percussionist, William Winant, and the Touché, an electronic instrument designed in collaboration with Donald Buchla; a new recording of And Come Up Dripping, for oboe and computer signal processing, with soloist, Libby van Cleve, and other recording, performing, and publishing projects. He is co-author, with Phil Burk and Larry Polansky, of the widely used computer software environment for experimental music, HMSL (Hierarchical Music Specification Language). He is working on a book about compositional models, entitled Propositional Music, and other writings in interdisciplinary topics combining neuroscience, music, cognition, self-organizing systems, evolution, and interstellar communication. More information is available at: http://music.calarts.edu/~david

Recent CD's with Rosenboom's Music

Invisible Gold (classics of live electronic music involving extended musical interface with the human nervous system), Pogus Productions, 21022-2, 2000, www.pogus.com

Music from-On Being Invisible II (Hypatia Speaks to Jefferson in a Dream) (selections from a self-organizing chamber opera for brainwaves, speaking voices, musicians, and multi-media computer performance), on Transmigration Music, Centaur Records, CRC 2490, 2000, www.centaurrecords.com

Two Lines, David Rosenbom and Anthony Braxton, music for winds, MIDI piano, and interactive software, Lovely Music, Ltd., LCD 3071, 1995, www.lovely.com

A Precipice in Time, (for percussion, saxophone, cello, piano-celesta, and sound rotation), on The Virtuoso in the Computer Age-I, Centaur Records, CDC 2110, 1991, www.centaurrecords.com

Systems of Judgment, computer music system and auxiliary instruments, Centaur Records, CDC 2077, 1989, www.centaurrecords.com

Some good sources for Rosenboom's music and writings are:

Frog Peak Music: www.frogpeak.org
Electronic Music Foundation: www.emf.org
CDeMusic: www.cdemusic.org
Leonardo on-line: http://mitpress2.mit.edu/e-journals/Leonardo
Anomalous Records: www.anomalousrecords.com