Laura Karpman’s “Ask Your Mama” : a grand multitude of American voices

Laura Anne Karpman (born March 1, 1959, in Los Angeles) is an American composer, whose work has included scoring for film, television, video games, theater, and concert.  She has won four Emmy Awards for her work.  Karpman was trained at The Juilliard School, where she played jazz, and honed her skills scatting in bars. Karpman … Continue reading Laura Karpman’s “Ask Your Mama” : a grand multitude of American voices

Anna Thorvaldsdottir : composer whose work conjures entire environments of sound

Anna Thorvaldsdottir is an Icelandic composer whose work conjures entire environments of sound, surrounding the listener in a dark and forbidding landscape. Anna thinks sonically; her music comes from a deeply non-verbal place, and she has developed a brilliant workflow which allows these ideas to remain mostly whole and unmolested through her creative process. Anna … Continue reading Anna Thorvaldsdottir : composer whose work conjures entire environments of sound

Hildegard of Bingen : Re-Imagined

Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) celebrated a big birthday in 1998. She would have been 900 years old. To mark the anniversary, one of Hildegard's dozens of individualistic compositions, the Ordo Virtutum, was recast by a team of New York artists appropriately named the Hildegurls: Eve Beglarian, Lisa Bielawa, Kitty Brazelton, and Elaine Kaplinsky. While this cannot be … Continue reading Hildegard of Bingen : Re-Imagined

Germaine Tailleferre : only female composer of “Les Six”

Germaine Tailleferre believed that a composition must be lacking in artistry if a listener couldn’t identify a composer’s style after three bars. A prolific composer in a wide range of genres, she forged a distinctive musical voice characterised by clarity, spontaneity and light-hearted charm. Germaine Tailleferre was born April 19. 1892 at Saint Maur Des … Continue reading Germaine Tailleferre : only female composer of “Les Six”

Laurie Anderson : performance artist; poet; provocateur; widow

Initially trained as a sculptor, Laurie Anderson did her first performance-art piece in the late 1960s. Throughout the 1970s, Anderson did a variety of different performance-art activities. She became widely known outside the art world in 1981 when her single "O Superman" reached number two on the UK pop charts. She also starred in and … Continue reading Laurie Anderson : performance artist; poet; provocateur; widow

Myriam Alter : encompassing jazz, classical music, and various European influences

Myriam Alter is one of those musicians about whom the Internet seems to know very little. What Google manages to dig up more or less tells the same story: Alter hails from a Belgian family of Sephardic Jews. She started piano lessons at age 8 but abandoned the instrument at 15 for other preoccupations. After … Continue reading Myriam Alter : encompassing jazz, classical music, and various European influences

Lisa Bielawa : Singing Rilke

Lisa Carol Bielawa (born in San Francisco, California, September 30, 1968) is a composer and vocalist. She is a 2009 Rome Prize winner in Musical Composition and spent a year composing as a Fellow at the American Academy in Rome. She takes inspiration for her work from literary sources and close artistic collaborations. Gramophonereports, “Bielawa is … Continue reading Lisa Bielawa : Singing Rilke

Annea Lockwood : sound artist

Cage’s seminal book, ‘Silence’, was a strong influence in my twenties, confirming my own sense that all sound is inherently musical and interesting, valuable. My work as a composer took off completely from that premise. As he was, generously with many young composers, he was always friendly, encouraging, when we met. For example, I remember … Continue reading Annea Lockwood : sound artist

Miriam Gideon : Composer

Miriam Gideon (10/23/1906–6/181996) was born in Greeley, Colorado, where her father was a Reform rabbi. Her interest in composition —begun in childhood as an ancillary, experimental, and almost private activity—soon became the primary focus of her creative energies. At Boston University, where she earned her bachelor's degree with a major in French literature and a … Continue reading Miriam Gideon : Composer

Sarah Kirkland Snider : Unremembered

Except from a longer interview that appeared in New Music Box Molly Sheridan: It seems as if no writer can resist pointing out how you mix pop and classical elements in your work, and clearly there are reasons for this—from instrumentation to vocal style to the artists you work with. The tone of shock that … Continue reading Sarah Kirkland Snider : Unremembered