McDermott, Vincent , American composer and teacher; b. Atlantic City, N.J., Sept. 5, 1933. He studied with Rochberg at the Univ. of Pa. (B.F.A. in composition, 1959; Ph.D. in music history and theory, 1966) and took a course in music history at the Univ. of Calif. at Berkeley (M.A., 1961); also received instruction in composition from Milhaud and Stockhausen. He studied the tabla at the Ali Akbar Khan Coll. in Oakland, Calif. (1973), and the Javanese gamelan at the Akademi Seni Karawitan Indonesia in Surakarta (1971, 1978). He taught at the Hampton Inst. in Va. (1966–67), at the Wise. Cons. of Music in Milwaukee (1967–77), and at Lewis and Clark Coll. in Portland, Ore. (from 1971). In 1980 he held the directorship of the Venerable Showers of Beauty gamelan. His music draws freely upon both Western and Eastern elements.
dramatic:A Perpetual Dream, chamber opera (1978); Spirits among the Spires, chamber opera (1987); The King of Bali, opera (Portland, Ore., April 20, 1990); Mata Hari, chamber opera (1994; Dallas, April 21, 1995). orch.: Siftings upon Siftings (1976); Solonese Concerto for Piano, Voice, and Orch. (1979); Prelude, Waltz, and Chorale for String Quartet and Chamber Orch. (1985); Titus Magnificus, fanfare (Cincinnati, Sept. 23, 1994). chamber: 3 for 5 for Flute, Alto Saxophone, Vibraphone, Piano, Tabla or Bongos, and Cymbal (1970); Komal Usha-Rudra Nisha for Sitar, Flute, Guitar, and Double Bass (1972); Time Let Me Plan and Be Golden in the Mercy of His Means for Guitar and Harpsichord (1973); Dreams, Listen for Viola and Piano (1974); Kagoklaras for Prepared Piano and Gamelan (1981); The Bells of Tajilor for Gamelan (1984); String Quartet No. 1, Fugitive Moons (1991); Price’s Fancy and Gavotte for Viola and Piano (1992). vocal: 4 numbered cantatas:Mixes No. 1 for Voices, Violin, and Percussion (1971), No. 2, Thou Restless Ungathered for Soprano or Tenor, Clarinet, and Tape (1973), No. 3, Swift Wind for High Voice and Double Bass (1974), and No. 4, Slayer of Time, Ancient of Days for Soloists, Chorus, English Horn, Guitar, and Percussion (1977); Laudamus (1980); The Book of the Lover, the Beloved, and the Alone for Voice and Instruments (1980); Tagore Songs for Soprano and Guitar (1981); Sweet-breathed Minstrel for 2 Voices, Viola, and Gamelan (1982); The Dark Laments of Ariadne and of Attis, 2 songs for Soprano, Narrator, Viola, and Tape, after Catullus (1983); Sir Christemas for Men’s Chorus and Percussion (1990). Tape And Mixed Media:He Who Ascends by Ecstasy into Contemplation of Sublime Things Sleeps and Sees a Dream for Piano and Tape (1972); Pictures at an Exhibition, multimedia piece (1975); Orpheus for Tape and Video (1975); Rain of Hollow Reeds for Tape (1977); A Perpetual Dream for Voice, Tape, and 1 or 2 Dancers (1978); Execution—what! what? what, multimedia piece (1980).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire