Hays, Sorrel (actually, Doris Ernestine)

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Hays, Sorrel (actually, Doris Ernestine)

Hays, Sorrel (actually, Doris Ernestine), American composer, pianist, and mixed-media artist; b. Memphis, Term., Aug. 6, 1941. She was educated at the Univ. of Chattanooga (B.M., 1963), the Munich Hochschule für Musik (piano and harpsichord diploma, 1966), the Univ. of Wise. (M.M., 1968), and the Univ. of Iowa (composition and electronic music, 1969). In 1971 she won 1st prize in the International Competition for Interpreters of New Music in Rotterdam, and subsequently toured as a performer of contemporary music. Hays has become well known for her championship of cluster piano music, especially the works of Henry Cowell. She was prof, of theory at Queens Coll. of the City Univ. of N.Y. (1974–75), and a guest lecturer and performer at various institutions. In 1984 she adopted Sorrel as her first name.


dramatic:Love in Space, radio opera/music theater (1986); The Glass Woman, opera (1989–95); Touch of Touch, video opera (1989); Dream in Her Mind, opera (1994-95; WDR, Cologne, April 14, 1995); Mapping Venus, opera (1999); film scores; various works for radio. instrumental:Sch-veningen Beach for Flute Quintet (1972); After Glass for 10 Percussionists (1974; rev. 1998); Pieces from Last Year for 16 Instruments (1976); SensEvents for 6 Instruments and Tape (1970–77); Characters, concerto for Harpsichord, String Quartet, and 3 Woodwinds (1978); Segment/Junctures for Viola, Clarinet, and Piano (1978); Tunings for Double Bass (1978), for Flute, Clarinet, and Bassoon (1979), for Flute, Clarinet, Violin, and Soprano (1979), for Clarinet, Piano, and Soprano (1979), for String Quartet (1980), for Viola (1980), for 2 Violins (1980), and for Violin, Cello, Piano, and Soprano (1981); UNI, dance suite for String Quartet, Flute, Chorus, and Tape (1978); Lullabye for Flute, Violin, and Piano (1979); Tommy’s Trumpet for 2 Trumpets (1979); Fanfare Study for Horn, Trumpet, and Trombone (1980); Southern Voices for Orch. and Soprano (1982); Harmony for Strings (1983); Rocking for Flute, Violin, and Viola (1983); Juncture Dance III for 7 Percussionists (1989); It All Sounds Like Music to Me for Percussionist (1994); Split Tree Festival March for Symphonic Band (1996); Traveling for Didjeridu, Casio Saxophone, Ultraproteus, Oboe, and Tibetan Singing Bowl (1997); Traveling to Istanbul for Electronic Saxophone, Ultraproteus, Electronic Keyboard, Gongs, and Electronic Processors (1998); Wake Up and Dream for Trombone and Tape (1998); other chamber works; piano pieces. VOCAL: Star Music for Chorus, Tape, and Bells (1974); Hands Full for 2-part Chorus, Drums, and Tape (1977); In-de-pen-dance for Chanter and Nylon String (1979); Hush for Voice, Reco-reco, and Sand Block (1981); Rest Song for Chorus and Optional Flute (1981); Something (to Do) Doing for Scat Singer, 15 Chanters, and 2 Actors (1984); Hei-Ber-Ny-Pa-To-Sy-Bei-Mos for Soprano, Flute, and Percussion (1989); The Clearing Way: A Chant for the Nineties for Contralto, Chorus, and Orch. (1991); A Birthday Book for Baritone, Oboe, and Tuba (1997); Ain’t I a Woman for Treble Voices, Trumpet, 3 Percussionists, and Keyboard (1998); Quilt for a New Century for Baritone, Soprano, Piano, Orch., and Video (2000); other vocal works. electronic and mixed media:Hands and Lights for Piano and Lights (1971); Duet for Pianist and Audience (1971); Certain: Change for Piccolo, Bass Flute, and Tape (1978); Reading Richie’s Paintings for Synthesizer, Flute, and Slides (1979); Exploitation for Soprano or Chanter and Tape (1981); The Gorilla and the Girl for Tape (1981); Only for Piano, 2 Tapes, Slides, and Film (1981); Water Music for Soprano, Tape, Water Pump, Slides, Optional Violin, and Optional Baby Pool (1981); Celebration of No for Tape, Film, and Optional Violin or Soprano or Piano Trio (1983); The Needy Sound for Tape (1983); M.O.M. ’n P.O.P. for 3 Pianos, Tape, Film, Slides, and Mime (1984); Weaving (Interviews) for Optional Soprano, Piano, Film, and Slides (1984); Sound Shadows for Oboe, Didjeridu, Saxophone, Synthesizer, Percussion, Dancer, Video, and Tape (1990); Take a Back Country Road for Oboe, Didjeridu with Digital Delay, Keyboard, Drum Machine, and Saxophone (1990–91); The Hub-Metropolis Atlanta (1990–97); Structure 123 for Electronic Orch. (1995); Traveling to Copenhagen for Electronic Saxophone, Ultraproteus Tone Generator, and DX-7 Keyboard (1996); other tape pieces; sound structures.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire