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David Rosenboom

September 9, 1947 -
born in Fairfield, IA, composed during the Contemporary period
A truly twenty-first century musical visionary, Rosenboom is a composer, performer, conductor, interdisciplinary artist, author, and educator.

A multi-instrumentalist who plays piano, violin, viola, percussion, trumpet, and live electronic systems, Rosenboom studied at the University of Illinois with Salvatore Martirano, Lejaren Hiller, Kenneth Gaburo, Jack McKenzie, Soulima Stravinsky, John Garvey, and others. He engaged in special studies in physics, computer science, experimental psychology, and multi-media there and at New York University.

In the 1960s he was also a Creative Associate in the Center for Creative and Performing Arts at the State University of NY (Buffalo), Artistic Coordinator of the Electric Circus (New York), and co-founder of the electronic arts research company Neurona.

In the 1970s he was a Professor and founder of the Department of Music at York University (Toronto) and founded the Electronic Media Studios and Laboratory of Experimental Aesthetics there.

During the 1980s, Rosenboom was the Darius Milhaud Professor of Music at Mills College, where he was also Head of the Music Department and Director of the Center for Contemporary Music. He taught interdisciplinary subjects at the San Francisco Art Institute and the California College of Arts and Crafts.

Beginning in1990, he served as Dean of the School of Music, Co-director of the Center for Experiments in Art, Information and Technology and Conductor of the New Century Players at the California Institute of the Arts. In 1995 he was appointed George A. Miller Professor at the University of Illinois.

He has organized numerous performing groups, Maple Sugar (Toronto) and Challenge (Oakland).

He has developed computer software for music, was co-designer of a computerized keyboard instrument with Donald Buchla, the Touché, and is co-author (with L. Polansky and P. Burk) of HMSL (Hierarchical Music Specification Language), a music programming language widely used by educational institutions and individuals around the world.

Rosenboom has conducted extensive research into information processing modes of the brain as they relate to aesthetic experience and has published two books on the subject, Biofeedback and the Arts (1976), and Extended Musical Interface with the Human Nervous System (1990). His compositions in the recordings Brainwave Music (1976) and On Being Invisible incorporate that research.

His other interests are also directly expressed in his music: acoustic and world music in the Seduction of Sapientia (1974), for viola da gamba and electronics and Suitable for Framing (1975), for two pianos and South Indian Mrdangam; the musical characteristics of natural forms in In the Beginning (1978-81), a series of nine works for soloists, chamber ensembles, orchestra and electronics; political and historical commentary in How Much Better if Plymouth Rock Had Landed on the Pilgrims (1969), for unspecified instruments, and in On Being Invisible II (Hypatia Speaks to Jefferson in a Dream) (1995) which also deals with the spontaneous evolution of forms through various heuristic (self-teaching) computer programs; interactive media in the installation for MOCA, Los Angeles, of It Is About to...Sound (1993, part of Rolywholyover A Circus, celebrating the life and work of John Cage). ~ "Blue" Gene Tyranny, Rovi
full bio

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