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David Rosenboom

Valencia, CA         

Since the 1960s David Rosenboom (b. 1947) has explored the spontaneous evolution of musical forms, languages for improvisation, new techniques in scoring for ensembles, multi-disciplinary composition and performance, cross-cultural collaborations, performance art and literature, interactive multi-media and new instrument technologies, generative algorithmic systems, art-science research and philosophy, and extended musical interface with the human nervous system. His work is widely distributed and presented around the world.

Rosenboom holds the Richard Seaver Distinguished Chair in Music in The Herb Alpert School of Music at California Institute of the Arts, where he has been Dean of the School of Music since 1990, a conductor with the New Century Players, Co­Director of the Center for Experiments in Art, Information and Technology, and member of the Center for New Performance. In 2011 he also served as Acting Co-President for CalArts. He taught at Mills College from 1979 to 1990, held the Darius Milhaud Chair, was Professor of Music, Head of the Music Department, and Director of the Center for Contemporary Music. His independent career outside institutions has spanned international performance and composition, consulting, recording, writing, instrument design, interdisciplinary research, and multi-media production.

He studied at the University of Illinois with Salvatore Martirano, Lejaren Hiller, Kenneth Gaburo, Gordon Binkerd, Bernard Goodman, Paul Rolland, Jack McKenzie, Soulima Stravinsky and John Garvey among others and has worked and taught in innovative institutions, such as the Center for Creative and Performing Arts at the State University of New York in Buffalo, New York’s Electric Circus, York University in Toronto—where he was Professor of Music and Interdisciplinary Studies—, University of Illinois—where he was awarded the prestigious George A. Miller Visiting Professorship—, New York University, Banff Center for the Arts, Simon Fraser University, Aesthetic Research Centre of Canada, San Francisco Art Institute, California College of Arts and Crafts, Bard College, Center for Advanced Musical Studies at Chosen Vale, and Ionian University in Greece.

His music, performances, and productions have been recorded on various labels and commercial entities, most recently including New World Records, Mutable Music, EM Records, Centaur Records, Lovely Music Ltd., Cold Blue, Pogus Productions, Tzadik, Black Saint, West Wind, Elektra Nonesuch, Frog Peak Music, Nine Winds Records, Big Pink Music, Music Gallery Editions, and others. Examples of his recent projects include developing a new scoring technique using configuration spaces in, Zones of Coherence, for solo or multiple trumpets—written for Daniel Rosenboom—and in Twilight Language for solo piano—referring to a mystical language of Tibetan Siddahs and written for Vicki Ray; collaborations with director, Travis Preston, to create unique theatrical expansions using live video of his musical works, Bell Solaris—Twelve Metamorphoses in Piano Theater, and Systems of Judgment for piano, violin, and computer music system; live electronic music for Rain Coloring Forest, a dance theater work made in collaboration with Indonesian choreographer and multi-artist, Sardono W. Kusumo, lighting designer, Jennifer Tipton and animation designer, Maureen Selwood; and AH!, a new approach to opera as emergent interactive process with poet, Martine Bellen, and director, Travis Preston, an international group of collaborating composer-performers known as A Counterpoint of Tolerance Composers, and a theatrical and new media team from The Herb Alpert School of Music at Calarts and CalArts’ Center for New Performance, see: http://www.ah-opera.org/

Rosenboom is author of influential books such as Biofeedback and the Arts and Extended Musical Interface with the Human Nervous System and many articles and monographs, such as Propositional Music: On Emergent Properties in Morphogenesis and the Evolution of Music and Collapsing Distinctions: Interacting within Fields of Intelligence on Interstellar Scales and Parallel Musical Models. He is also co­author with Phil Burk and Larry Polansky of the widely used software environment for experimental music, HMSL (Hierarchical Music Specification Language). Currently, he is working on a book about compositional models and exploring the universe through experimental music, entitled Propositional Music, a variety of recordings and new musical projects.

The Accidental Lion

There are two basic principles of musical structure I rely on. The first is expressed by the force of attraction, (gravity, love, concentration, creation), and the second lies in the idea of repetition, (materialization, duration). My mindfulness of this constitutes the only score. I find I must wait before the beginning of each performance until I am surprised by the first sound I make and the fact that it is made. Then, I feel ready to proceed.

Rain Coloring Forest

A major collaborative work with Indonesian dancer/choreographer/artist Sardono W. Kusumo, artist and lighting designer Jennifer Tipton, composer David Rosenboom, and video/animation artist Maureen Selwood. Rosenboom created live electronic music for this work making extensive use of processed audio samples from the environment and people of Papua, Indonesia.

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Kicking Shadows

A subtle and hard driving solo piano piece linking rhythm and blues inspirations with Zen-soul and forms of gradual processes, in memory James Brown and with reference to Chi-fo (a.k.a. Feng-seng), may also be arranged or orchestrated and improvisations added.