Lou Harrison: American Musical Maverick

Paperback | February 21, 2017

byBill Alves, Brett Campbell

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American composer Lou Harrison (1917-2003) is perhaps best known for challenging the traditional musical establishment along with his contemporaries and close colleagues: composers John Cage, Aaron Copland, Virgil Thomson, and Leonard Bernstein; Living Theater founder, Judith Malina; and choreographer, Merce Cunningham. Today, musicians from Bang on a Can to Björk are indebted to the cultural hybrids Harrison pioneered half a century ago. His explorations of new tonalities at a time when the rest of the avant garde considered such interests heretical set the stage for minimalism and musical post-modernism. His propulsive rhythms and ground-breaking use of percussion have inspired choreographers from Merce Cunningham to Mark Morris, and he is considered the godfather of the so-called "world music" phenomenon that has invigorated Western music with global sounds over the past two decades.

In this biography, authors Bill Alves and Brett Campbell trace Harrison's life and career from the diverse streets of San Francisco, where he studied with music experimentalist Henry Cowell and Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg, and where he discovered his love for all things non-traditional (Beat poetry, parties, and men); to the competitive performance industry in New York, where he subsequently launched his career as a composer, conducted Charles Ives's Third Symphony at Carnegie Hall (winning the elder composer a Pulitzer Prize), and experienced a devastating mental breakdown; to the experimental arts institution of Black Mountain College where he was involved in the first "happenings" with Cage, Cunningham, and others; and finally, back to California, where he would become a strong voice in human rights and environmental campaigns and compose some of the most eclectic pieces of his career.

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American composer Lou Harrison (1917-2003) is perhaps best known for challenging the traditional musical establishment along with his contemporaries and close colleagues: composers John Cage, Aaron Copland, Virgil Thomson, and Leonard Bernstein; Living Theater founder, Judith Malina; and choreographer, Merce Cunningham. Today, musician...

Bill Alves is a southern California composer of acoustic and electronic microtonal music, music for gamelan, video, and other works. He is the author of Music of the Peoples of the World and his discs are available from MicroFest Records, Spectral Harmonies, and Kinetica Video Library. He teaches at Harvey Mudd College at the Claremont...

other books by Bill Alves

Format:PaperbackDimensions:648 pages, 10 × 7 × 0.68 inPublished:February 21, 2017Publisher:Indiana University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0253026156

ISBN - 13:9780253026156

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Table of Contents

Foreword: Hail, Lou! / Mark Morris
Preface: Lou's World
Acknowledgments

Part I: Oregon Trails
1. The Silver Court (1917-1934)

Part II: The Vast Acreage
2. A Wonderful Whirligig (1935-1936)
3. The Ultramodernist (1935-1936)
4. The Grand Manner (1936-1937)
5. Changing World (1937-1938)
6. Double Music (1938-1939)
7. Drums Along the Pacific (1939-1941)
8. Into the Labyrinth (1941-1942)
9. Western Dance (1942-1943)

Part III: A Hell of a Town
10. The Lonesome Isle (1943-1945)
11. New York Waltzes (1945-1946)
12. Praises for the Archangel (1946)
13. Day of Ascension (1946-1947)
14. Tears of the Angel (1947-1948)
15. The Perilous Chapel (1948-1949)
16. Pastorales (1949-1950)
17. The White Goddess (1951)
18. A Great Playground (1951-1952)
19. Lake Eden (1952-1953)

Part IV: Full Circle
20. A Paradise Garden of Delights (1953-1955)
21. Free Style (1955-1957)
22. Wild Rights (1957-1961)

Part V: Pacifica
23. The Human Music (1961)
24. Pacific Rounds (1962-1963)
25. The Family of the Court (1963-1966)
26. Stars Upon his Face (1967-1969)
27. Young Caesar and Old Granddad (1969-1974)
28. Elegies (1973-1975)

Part VI: The Great Melody
29. Golden Rain (1975-1977)
30. Playing Together (1977-1979)
31. Showers of Beauty (1978-1982)
32. Paradisal Music (1982-1984)
33. Stampede (1983-1987)
34. New Moon (1986-1990)
35. Book Music (1991-1995)
36. An Eden of Music and Mountains (1995-1997)
37. Asian Artistry (1997-2002)
38. White Ashes (2003)
Notes
Appendix A: Glossary of Musical Terms
Appendix B: List of Harrison's Compositions
Bibliography
Index