Hostetler, Randy (actually, James Randolph)

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Hostetler, Randy (actually, James Randolph)

Hostetler, Randy (actually, James Randolph), imaginative American composer, pianist, and performance artist; b. Washington, D.C., July 28, 1963; d. Los Angeles, Feb. 1, 1996. He studied at Yale Univ., receiving the Friends of Music Prize at his graduation in 1985, and at the Calif. Inst. of the Arts, graduating in 1989. He was the composer of over 50 experimental, improvisational, and multimedia works, some incorporating ambient sounds and unusual found objects. He established and coordinated The Living Room Series, a bi-monthly concert of new music in Los Angeles (1990–93). Hostetler was not only a promising young musician, but also much loved. His sudden death at the age of 32 of undiagnosed Addison’s Disease was greatly lamented.


Cuckoo Song for Small Chorus, on a 13th century text (1978); Tell Me Where Is Fancy Bred? for Small Chorus, after Shakespeare (1979); Island Girls for Small Chorus, after T.S. Eliot (1981); Three Leaves for Small Chorus, Flute, and Violin, after Walt Whitman (1982); Randy’s New Four-Track Piece for Tape, Instruments, Toys, Sound Effects, Voice, and Digital Delay (1983); Ingredients for Small Chorus (1984); There for Tape, Piano, and Voice (1984); Nine Minutes of Laughter for Tape and Voices (1985); Late Night Joint for Tape, Electric Bass, Electric Guitar, Tenor Saxophone, Drum Machine, Conversation, Pool Balls, Ping Pong, Ice Machine, and Percussion (1985; in collaboration with Julian Saenz); Zooming Home for Tape and Voices (1985); 25 Years for Saxophone Quartet (1985); Big Mac for Flute, Bass, Clarinet, Horn, Soprano, Baritone, Violin, Viola, Cello, and Contrabass (1985); Great Big Slice of Ham for Tape and Concrete Music (1986); Emotional Study No. 1, short film animating various household objects (1986); 8 for Pianist (1986); Happily Ever After, 45-minute storytelling collage (1987; also a 17-minute version); I(EYE)/FRE/IOI, sound and video installation (1988; in collaboration with Eric Forte and Francesca Talenti); Palm Quartet for String Quartet and Video Score (of Los Angeles palm trees) (1988; in collaboration with F. Talenti); Floater for String Quartet and Video Score (of white shapes moving against a black background) (1989); P(L)ACEs, electric groove collage for 11 Players and House Lamps (1989); Surprise Party, a musical postcard (1989); Landscapes, sound design for a film by F. Talenti (1989); Yo…Bowling? for Multiple Tape Decks, Record Players, Super-8 Projectors, and Video (1990; in collaboration with M. Lightcap; also a studio version); Shower Piece for Voice (1990); Piece for New Year’s Eve, theatrical multimedia piece/party for Any Number of Players (1990); Nervous System for Black and White Slide Score and 8 Players of Office Gadgets (1990); Francesca and Randy’s Trip to Europe for Tape (1990); Cyclebones and Ghost Cologne for Tape (1991); Piece for Randy and Dave, theatrical multimedia piece for 3 Performers (1991); Musical Interludes, visual tableau and improvisation structure for Drum Exterior and Interior, Big Tube, Triangle, Clarinet, and Califone (1992); Deep for 2 Reed Players (Saxophones and Clarinets) (1992); Someone’s Apartment for 2 Reed Players (Saxophones and Clarinets) (1992); Lone Pine for 11 Players of Percussion and Sound Effects and Animated Film (4 times with different speeds with multiple non-sync soundtracks) (1992); There It Is for 2 Performers and Assistants (flexible instrumentation) (1992); Indecipherable Conversation for 6 Players (flexible instrumentation) (1993); Song, amplified vocal improvisation for 1 Performer (1993); For Eric (Hands), movement piece for 1 Performer (1993); Circle and Triangle (aka as Two Faces), movement piece for 1 Performer (1993); Off the Corner, movement piece for 1 Performer (1995); The Preacher, performance piece for 1 Performer (1995); Salvation Army, guerrilla performance piece for a Large Number of Bell-Ringers (1995); also arrangements, including Summertime (Gershwin) for Small Chorus (1982), Prelude to a Kiss (Ellington) for Small Chorus (1982), Round Midnight (Monk) for Small Chorus (1983), Theme from Tannhäuser (Wagner) for Men’s Chorus (1992).

—Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire