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Per Bloland

Oxford, OH      

Per Bloland is a composer of acoustic and electroacoustic music whose works have been described by the New York Times as “lush, caustic,” and “irresistible.” His compositions range from short intimate solo pieces to works for large orchestra, incorporate video, dance, and custom-built electronics, and often draw on a variety of other art forms.

Bloland has received awards and recognition from organizations including IRCAM, ICMA, SEAMUS/ASCAP, the Ohio Arts Council, Digital Art Awards of Tokyo, the Martirano Competition, ISCM, SCI/ASCAP, and Taukay Edizioni Musicali. His first opera, Pedr Solis, commissioned and premiered by Guerilla Opera in 2015, received rave reviews from the Boston Globe and the Boston Classical Review. He has received commissions from loadbang, Keith Kirchoff, Wild Rumpus, Ecce Ensemble, Ensemble Pi, the Callithumpian Consort, Stanford’s CCRMA, SEAMUS/ASCAP, the Kenners, Michael Straus and Patti Cudd. His music can be heard on the TauKay (Italy), Capstone, Spektral, and SEAMUS labels, and through the MIT Press. A portrait CD of his work, performed by Ecce Ensemble, was recently released on Tzadik.

Performers of Bloland’s music include the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, Talea Ensemble, the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), the Quasars Ensemble (Slovakia), Bent Frequency, Insomnio, the Callithumpian Consort, Linea Ensemble, Ecce Ensemble, Eliot Gattegno, Margaret Lancaster, Michael Straus, the Stanford Symphony Orchestra, and John Sampen. His music has been performed at Bourges, Darmstadt, ICMC, SEAMUS, SIGGRAPH, Gaudeamus, the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, the Third Practice Electroacoustic Music Festival, and the 2013 ISCM World New Music Days, among others. His collaborative video piece Graveshift has been widely viewed and acclaimed as part of the Visual Music Marathon.

Bloland is currently an Assistant Professor of Composition and Technology at Miami University, Ohio. In 2013 he completed a five-month Musical Research Residency at IRCAM in Paris. He was previously a Visiting Assistant Professor of Computer Music at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. He received his D.M.A. in composition from Stanford University, and his M.M. from the University of Texas at Austin.

The Electromagnetically-Prepared Piano, of which he is the co-inventor and primary composer, continues to receive attention after nearly ten years. In addition to giving numerous lecture/demonstrations, he has composed several pieces for the device, written a paper, and developed the website magneticpiano.com.

Scores may be purchased at www.babelscores.com/perbloland

For more information visit www.perbloland.com.


Performed by Ecce: Mike Truesdell, percussion.
The piece is loosely inspired by the novel Stillaset Brandt, by the Norwegian author Pedr Solis. Having created several other pieces that are tightly connected with the principle (unnamed) character in the novel, Solis-EA is more concerned with the author himself, his unusual and dichotomous life, and his mysterious disappearance (or tragic end, depending on which biographer you read).

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Of Dust and Sand

Of Dust and Sand uses the Electromagnetically-Prepared Piano device, a rack of 12 electromagnets which is suspended over the strings of a piano. Each electromagnet is sent an audio signal and in turn excites its respective string, much like a stereo speaker made from piano strings. In this piece a subset of the magnets remains active throughout, the performer physically silencing the strings by pressing down with fingertips. Thus the instrument becomes a kind of anti-piano – lifting a finger frees a string to vibrate, producing sound.

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Solis Overture

Performed by Wild Rumpus!
Though it is in fact an overture for my recent opera, Pedr Solis, this piece will probably never be heard in front of the opera as the instrumentation is quite different. It was also written before the opera, and thus acts as more of a sketch pad than a summation of primary themes. The material types and the melodic fragment toward the end of this piece do play key roles in the larger work however, which had been under development for some time when the overture was composed.

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