David Rosenboom (b. 1947)



  1. David Rosenboom – In The Beginning: Etude I (Trombones) 9:48


    Computer [Macintosh Computer Program For Just Intonation Guide Tones] – Scot Gresham-Lancaster
    Trombone – Toyoji Tomita

    David Rosenboom was born in Fairfield, Iowa, in 1947 and grew up on a farm near Quincy, Illinois. He is known as an innovator in composition for instruments, electronics, and multi-media, an accomplished performer, author and developer of computer applications in interdisciplinary arts. He is acclaimed for pioneering research in extended musical interface with the human nervous system. Rosenboom studied composition and electronic and computer music with Gordon Binkerd, Salvatore Martirano, Kenneth Gaburo, and Lejaren Hiller and engaged in special studies in physics, computer science and experimental psychology. Since then he has received numerous commissions and research grants and has produced many recordings and publications.

    In the late 1960's he was a Creative Associate Rockefeller Fellow at SUNY in Buffalo, Artistic Coordinator of New York's multi-media palace The Electric Circus, co-founder of Neurona Co. (electronics R&D in the arts), and an independent writer/producer of music for television and other media. His music explored unique notation systems, extended instrument techniques, multi-media, theater, live electronics and improvisation in works like A Precipice in Time, She Loves Me She Loves Me Not..., and How Much Better If Plymouth Rock Had Landed On The Pilgrims.

    In the 1970's he was co-founder of the Music Department at York University in Toronto, the Aesthetic Research Centre of Canada and the performance art collective Maple Sugar. He carried out extensive studies in information processing in the brain in relation to aesthetic experience and produced musical realizations of the results as heard on the albums Brainwave Music and On Being Invisible and seen in the books Biofeedback and the Arts and Selected Articles 1968-1982. His music explored improvisation, performance art, instrumental music and applications of artificial intelligence to computer-aided performance. He collaborated with noted artists such as pianist J.B. Floyd and mrdangam master Trichy Sankaran on the album Suitable for Framing, artist/film maker George Manupelli and many others.

    In 1979-1980, he developed a computerized keyboard instrument, the Touché, in collaboration with Donald Buchla. He taught music, interdisciplinary art and artificial intelligence at the San Francisco Art Institute, 1981-1985, and co-founded an electronic arts program. In recent years he has composed several collections of works which explore new song forms (Daytime Viewing and J. Jasmine. . My New Music, both with Jacqueline Humbert), live electronics (Future Travel), new harmonic and melodic languages (In The Beginning), and models of evolution (Zones of Influence). In 1979 he joined the faculty at Mills where he is currently Head of the Music Department and Director of the Center for Contemporary Music.

    "In the Beginning is a macro-title referring to a series of nine works created from 1978 through 1981. They are written for large and small instrumental ensembles, computer-aided electronic instruments, film/video, and synthetic speech. A unique harmonic, rhythmic and melodic language is developed in the works inspired by research on a model of proportional structures in music and an evolving, topologically modeled theory of musical 'shape' perception.

    There is programmatic content in the works which explores human beings' propensity to attempt to double themselves, in both religion and technology. A scenario for the evolution of human consciousness toward the birth of a macroscopic Earth-organism, to which all individual entities contribute, unfolds. This 'Etude' juxtaposes two elements in that scenario. A slow chorale represents the idea of resonance as a key to creation within an initially smooth medium, like undifferentiated space. Faster, short note parts mirror nature in the creation of singularities within the medium, like particles, or differentiated units of perception. Cycles of growth and decay result from the natural reinforcement of proportions with each other, while stochastic methods are used to control the quality of transitions from one. section to another." (David Rosenboom)



    From Music From Mills (1986)