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Gayle Young

Buffalo, NY      

Gayle Young composes music for electroacoustics (often including soundscape), for orchestral instruments, and for instruments she designed and built in order to work with unorthodox tunings. She was a consulting composer with the Structured Sound Synthesis Project (1979 to 1982), a graphic-interface computer music system pioneered by Bill Buxton at the University of Toronto. Her compositions have been broadcast and performed internationally; she will be a fellow of the Civitella Raneiri Foundation in fall 2014.

As publisher and former editor of Musicworks Magazine Young has facilitated the discussion of work by many innovative composers, musicians, and sound artists, and has published many articles on aspects of innovation in music. The Sackbut Blues, her biography of electronic music pioneer Hugh Le Caine, outlines a fertile period of interaction among science, technology, and music in the mid-twentieth century. Young also produced a CD of Le Caine’s compositions and instrument demonstrations.

Forest Ephemerals for solo piano

Performed by Midori Kubota. A description of four wild flowers leads the pianist to shape the pitches according to the way her or she hears the rhythms of the text. Harmonic quotations from two pieces by Charles Ives (‘Two Little Flowers’ and the ‘Concord Sonata’) colour the pitch organization.

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Firedot Lichen

Performed by Bruce Mather on a microtonal (16th tone) piano that looks as if it has eight octaves, however all the notes are within one octave. The pitch set was explored in order to find whole number frequency ratios within the tuning; these are organized as parallel sequences.

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Underwater Ocean Study

Sounds from two underwater locations in the North Atlantic are combined, each with distinct bands of pitch in the background. Other sounds include small pebbles washing back and forth in the water, water swirling around rocks, and rhythmic bumping from a nearby wooden dock.

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