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Encyclopedia > La Monte Young

La Monte Young (born October 14, 1935) is an American composer whose eccentric and often hard-to-find works have been included among the most important post World War II avant-garde or experimental music. Both his Fluxus influenced and "minimal" compositions question the nature of music and often stress elements of performance not normally indicated. He is normally listed as one of the "big four" minimalists along with Philip Glass, Steve Reich, and Terry Riley, despite having little in common with Glass and Reich. October 14 is the 287th day of the year (288th in Leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... á 1935 (MCMXXXV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will take you to calendar). ... A composer is a person who writes music. ... World War II was a truly global conflict with many facets: immense human suffering, fierce indoctrination, and the use of new, extremely devastating weapons such as the atom bomb. ... A work similar to Marcel Duchamps Fountain Avant garde (written avant-garde) is a French phrase, one of many French phrases used by English speakers. ... Experimental music is any music that challenges the commonly accepted notions of what music is. ... Fluxus (from to flow) is an art movement noted for the blending of different artistic disciplines, primarily visual art but also music and literature. ... Minimalism describes movements in various forms of art and design, especially visual art and music, where the work is stripped down to its most fundamental features. ... Wikibooks Wikiversity has more about this subject: School of Music Look up Music in Wiktionary, the free dictionary Wikisource, as part of the 1911 Encyclopedia Wikiproject, has original text related to this article: Music Meta has a page about this at: Music markup MusicNovatory: the science of music encyclopedia The... Philip Glass looks upon sheet music in a portrait taken by Annie Leibovitz. ... Steve Reich Steve Reich (born Stephen Michael Reich, October 3, 1936; last name pronounced []) is an American composer. ... Terry Riley (born 24 June 1935 in Colfax, California) is an American composer associated with the minimalist school. ...

Young was born to a Mormon family in Bern, Idaho. His family moved several times in his childhood while his father searched for work before settling in Los Angeles, California. He studied at Los Angeles City College, and was such a good saxophonist that he came out ahead of Eric Dolphy in an audition for the school's jazz band. As well as Dolphy, he also played alongside Ornette Coleman, Don Cherry and Billy Higgins. The term Mormon is a colloquial name referring to Latter Day Saints, a religion which was derived in the 1830s from the Book of Mormon, one of their books of scripture, whose compiler was called the prophet Mormon. ... Bern is a town in Bear Lake County, in the U.S. state of Idaho. ... The City of Los Angeles (from Spanish; Los Ángeles, ) also known simply as L.A., is the second-largest city in the United States in terms of population, as well as one of the worlds most important economic, cultural, and entertainment centers. ... Los Angeles City College is a community college in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles, on Vermont Avenue south of Santa Monica Boulevard. ... Saxophones of different sizes play in different registers. ... Eric Allan Dolphy (June 20, 1928 - June 29, 1964) was a jazz musician who played alto saxophone, flute and bass clarinet. ... Ornette Coleman Ornette Coleman (born March 19, 1930) was one of the major innovators of the free jazz movement of the 1960s, and one of the most notable figures in jazz history. ... Don Cherry (18 November 1936 - 19 October 1995) was an innovative jazz trumpeter probably best known for his long association with saxophonist Ornette Coleman. ... Billy Higgins (October 11, 1936–May 3, 2001) was an American jazz drummer. ...

He later entered the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to study music, and later still the University of California, Berkeley. He also studied electronic music with Richard Maxfield and attended the summer courses at Darmstadt under Karlheinz Stockhausen. Over this period he virtually gave up playing the saxophone to concentrate on composition, being influenced by Anton Webern, Gregorian chant and various music of other cultures, including Indian classical music and Indonesian gamelan music. These interests, and a wish to be able to find the intervals he used by ear, later led to him studying with Pandit Pran Nath from 1970 (fellow students included his wife Marian Zazeela and the composer Terry Riley). The University of California, Los Angeles, popularly known as UCLA, is a public, coeducational university located in the neighborhood of Westwood within the city of Los Angeles. ... University of California, Berkeley The University of California, Berkeley (also known as Cal, UCB, UC Berkeley, The University of California, California, or simply Berkeley) is a public coeducational university situated east of the San Francisco Bay in Berkeley, California, overlooking the Golden Gate. ... Electronic music is a loose term for music created using electronic equipment. ... Richard Maxfield (1927-1969) was an electronic composer and most likely the first electronic music teacher in America. ... Darmstadt is a city in the Bundesland (federal state) of Hessen in Germany. ... Karlheinz Stockhausen (born August 22, 1928) is a contemporary composer. ... Anton Webern (December 3, 1883 – September 15, 1945) was a composer of classical music and a member of the so called Second Viennese School. ... Gregorian chant is also known as plainchant or plainsong, and is a form of monophonic, unaccompanied singing, which was developed in the Catholic church, mainly during the period 800-1000. ... The origins of Indian classical music (marga), the classical music of India, can be found from the oldest of scriptures, part of the Hindu tradition, the Vedas. ... A gamelan is a musical ensemble of Indonesian origin typically featuring metallophones, xylophone(s), drums, and gongs. ... Pandit Pran Nath (1918–1996) was an esteemed Hindustani music vocalist and teacher of the Kirana Gharana who placed emphasis on the alap section of a raga performance. ...

A number of Young's early works use the twelve tone technique, which he studied under Leonard Stein at UCLA. (Stein had served as an assistant to Arnold Schoenberg when Schoenberg, the inventor of the twelve-tone method, had taught at UCLA.) When Young visited Darmstadt, he encountered the music and writings of John Cage, and also met Cage's collaborator, the pianist David Tudor. At Tudor's suggestion, Young engaged in a correspondence with Cage, and within a few months Young was presenting some of Cage's music on the West Coast while Cage and Tudor performed some of Young's works during their performances throughout the U.S. and Europe. By this time Young had taken a turn toward the conceptual, using principles of indeterminacy in his compositions and incorporating non-traditional sounds, noises, and actions. Twelve-tone technique is a system of musical composition devised by Arnold Schoenberg. ... Arnold Schoenberg, Los Angeles, 1948 For the American music critic and journalist, see Harold Charles Schonberg. ... John Cage John Milton Cage (September 5, 1912 – August 12, 1992) was an American experimental music composer and writer. ... Aleatoric (or aleatory) music or composition, is music where some element of the composition is left to chance. ...

By the time Young moved to New York in 1960 he had already established a reputation as the enfant terrible of the avant garde. He initially developed an artistic relationship with members of the Fluxus movement, but gradually eschewed their often parodistic and politically charged aesthetic; his works, though conceptual and extreme, were not meant to be merely provocative. One of his best known collections, Compositions 1960, includes a number of unusual actions, some of them unperformable, but each deliberatively examines a certain concept of presupposition about the nature of music and art and carries ideas to their extremes. One instructs "draw a straight line and follow it", another instructs the performer to build a fire, and another says the performer should release a butterfly into the room, and yet another challenges the performer to push a piano through a wall. Composition 1960 #7 proved especially pertinent to his future endeavors: it consisted of a B, an F#, and the instruction: "To be held for a long time." Fluxus (from to flow) is an art movement noted for the blending of different artistic disciplines, primarily visual art but also music and literature. ... Families Superfamily Hesperioidea: Hesperiidae Superfamily Papilionoidea: Papilionidae Pieridae Nymphalidae Lycaenidae Riodinidae A butterfly is a flying insect of the order Lepidoptera belonging to one of the superfamilies Hesperioidea (the skippers) and Papilionoidea (all other butterflies). ...

In 1962 Young wrote his first drone based piece in just intonation, The Second Dream of the High-Tension Line Stepdown Transformer, also his first piece to use electronics. The piece, one of The Four Dreams of China, is based on four pitches with the frequency ratios: 36-35-32-24 (G, C, +C#, D), and limits as to which may be combined with any other. Most of his pieces after this point are based on a drone of select pitches, played continuously, and a group of long held pitches to be improvised on. For The Four Dreams of China Young began to plan the "Dream House," a light and sound installation where musicians would live and create music twenty four hours a day, and formed The Theater of Eternal Music to realize this and other pieces. The group initial included his wife, Marian Zazeela who has provided the light show, The Ornamental Lightyears Tracery, for all performance since 1965, Angus MacLise, and Billy Name. In 1964 the ensemble contained Young and Zazeela, voices; Tony Conrad and John Cale, strings; and sometimes Terry Riley, voice. Since 1966 Young has realized the "Dream Theater" despite interruptions due to a lack of funding for such an exceptional, extensive, and expensive project. Just intonation is any musical tuning in which the frequencies of notes are related by whole number ratios. ... Sine waves of various frequencies; the lower waves have higher frequencies than those above. ... In algebra, a ratio is the relationship between two quantities. ... It was a mid-sixties experimental musical group featuring La Monte Young and John Cale. ... photo by Ira Cohen Angus MacLise (1938 - 1979) was a percussionist, composer, mystic, shaman, poet, occultist and calligrapher. ... Tony Conrad, a/k/a Anthony S. Conrad, (b. ... John Cale (born March 9, 1942) is a Welsh musician, songwriter and record producer. ... Terry Riley (born 24 June 1935 in Colfax, California) is an American composer associated with the minimalist school. ...

Most of these pieces have long titles, such as The Tortoise Recalling the Drone of the Holy Numbers as they were Revealed in the Dreams of the Whirlwind and the Obsidian Gong, Illuminated by the Sawmill, the Green Sawtooth Ocelot and the High-Tension Line Stepdown Transformer. Likewise, his works are often of extreme length, many pieces having no beginning and no end, existing before and after a particular performance. Young and Zazeela are also on an extended sleep schedule, their "days" being longer than twenty-four hours.

The Well Tuned Piano, a composition for solo piano in just intonation is, along with his performances of the work, which have stretched to more than six hours, considered his masterpiece. An example of rigorously structured improvisation, it is strongly influenced by mathematical composition and Hindustani classical music practice. It is one of the definining works of American musical minimalism.

La Monte Young has been extremely influential, from John Cale's contribution to The Velvet Underground's sound to his own followers, including: Tony Conrad, Jon Hassell, Rhys Chatham, Michael Harrison, Henry Flynt, and Catherine Christer Hennix. John Cale (born March 9, 1942) is a Welsh musician, songwriter and record producer. ... The Velvet Underground (abbreviated as The Velvets or V.U.) were an American rock and roll band of the late 1960s. ... Tony Conrad, a/k/a Anthony S. Conrad, (b. ... Not to be confused with The Libertiness bassist John Hassall Jon Hassell (born March 22, 1937, Memphis, Tennessee) is an American musician and trumpet player. ... Rhys Chatham (b. ... Michael Harrison, following a lifelong study of both Western classical and North Indian classical music, has forged “a new harmonic world” (The New York Times). ... Henry Flynt was born in 1940 in Greensboro, NC. He is a philosopher, musician, anti-art activist and exhibited artist, whom unsympathetic reviewers often link to Fluxus. ...

External links

  Results from FactBites:
La Monte Young - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1004 words)
La Monte Young (born October 14, 1935) is an American composer whose eccentric and often hard-to-find works have been included among the most important post World War II avant-garde or experimental music.
Young was born to a Mormon family in Bern, Idaho.
Young's early works mainly use the twelve tone technique of Arnold Schoenberg (with whom Young studied at Los Angeles), although several of these early pieces were destroyed by the composer.
Avantgarde Music. LaMonte Young: biography, discography, reviews, links (2819 words)
La Monte Young, a pupil of John Cage and one of the founders of the Fluxus movement, is the real "inventor" of minimalism.
La Monte Young regards music as an external being with an independent existence, and thus is critical of a Western culture he sees making music conform to human existence in such a way as to be unnatural and counter to the essence of music.
La prima "dream house" era una soffitta di New York in cui si radunavano Young, la moglie Marian Zazeela e The Theatre Of Eternal Music, un complesso in cui militavano, fra gli altri, il violinista Tony Conrad, il violista John Cale, il trombettista Jon Hassell, il violista David Rosenboom e l'organista Terry Riley.
  More results at FactBites »



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