Rosenboom, David (Charles)

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Rosenboom, David (Charles)

Rosenboom, David (Charles) , American composer, performer, and teacher; b. Fairfield, Iowa, Sept. 9, 1947. He took courses in composition and electronic and computer music at the Univ. of 111. at Urbana, where his principal mentors were Gordon Binkerd, Salvatore Mar-tirano, Kenneth Gaburo, and Lejaren Hiller, and also studied theory, conducting, physics, computer science, and experimental psychology. In 1967–68 he was a creative assoc. at the Center for Creative and Performing Arts at the State Univ. of N.Y. at Buffalo and artistic coordinator of the Electric Circus in N.Y; also in N.Y. he was co-founder and president of the Neurona Co., a research and development firm for electronics in the arts (1969–71). From 1972 to 1979 he taught at York Univ. in Toronto, and concurrently served as director of the Laboratory of Experimental Aesthetics at the Aesthetic Research Center of Canada, where he pursued studies in information processing as it relates to aesthetics; his studies resulted in several musical works. With D. Buchla, he developed the Touché, a computerized keyboard instrument, during his period as a software developer with Buchla’s firm in Berkeley, Calif. (1979–80). In 1979 he joined the faculty of Mills Coll. in Oakland, Calif., where he was assoc. prof. of music and director of the Center for Contemporary Music (from 1983). He also was head of the music dept. (from 1984), holder of the Darius Milhaud Chair in Music (from 1988), and prof. of music (1989–90) there. From 1981 to 1984 he also taught at the San Francisco Art Inst. In 1990 he became dean of music at the Calif. Inst. of the Arts. In 1995 he was the George A. Miller Visiting Prof. at the Univ. of Ill. He wrote a number of articles on contemporary music for various journals and publications; ed. the book Biofeedback and the Arts: Results of Early Experiments (1975) and brought out the vol. Selected Articles 1968–1982 (1984); also publ, a monograph, Extended Musical Interface with the Human Nervous System: Assessment and Prospectus (1990). Rosenboom has pursued a special interest in interdisciplinary work with the goal of combining the arts, sciences, and humanities. His music is generally experimental in nature, explorative of unique notation systems, improvisation, and extended instrumental techniques. He designed and co-developed H(ierarchical) M(usic) S(pecification) Language), a widely used programmimg language for interactive computer music systems (1987).


Contrasts for Violin and Orch. (1963); Caliban upon Setebos for Orch. (1966); The Brandy of the Damned, theater piece, with Electronic Tape (1967); How Much Better if Plymouth Rock Had Landed on the Pilgrims for Variable Ensembles, Electronics, and Outdoor Environments (1969–72); On Being Invisible for Soloist, with Computer- assisted Brain Signal Analysis and Electronic Music System, Touch Sensors, and Small Acoustic Sources (1976–77); In the Beginning: I (Electronic) for Soloist, with Computer-assisted Electronic Music System (1978), II (Quartet) for 2 or 4 Cellos and 2 Violas, Trombone, and Percussion (1979), III (Quintet) for Woodwind Quintet (1979), Etude I (Trombones) for any number of Trombones (1979), IV (Electronic) for Soloist, with Computer-assisted Electronic Music System (1980), Etude II (Keyboards/Mallets/Harps) for 2, 4, 6, or 8 Players (1980), Etude III (Piano and 2 Oranges) for Piano (1980), and V (The Story) for Chamber Orch., Film or Video, and Synthetic Speech (1980); Future Travel for Piano, Violin, and Computer Music System (1982; rev. 1987); Champ Vital (Life Field), trio for Violin, Piano, and Percussion (1987); Systems of Judgment, tape collage (1987); 2 Lines, duets for Melodic Instruments (1989); Predictions, Confirmations, and Disconfirmations for Piano, Computer Software, and Automatically Responding Instruments (1991); Extended Trio for Improvising Trio, Computer Software, and Computer Music Systems (1992; in collaboration with C. Haden and T. Sankaran); It Is About To…Sound, interactive computer media installation utilizing the music of John Cage and 36 other composers (1993; in collaboration with M. Coniglio and S. Mosko); On Being Invisible II: Hypatia Speaks to Jefferson in a Dream, multimedia performance piece (1994–95); Brave New World: Music for the Play for Computer Music System (1995); Bell Solaris for Piano (1997–98); Seeing the Small in the Large for Orch. (1998–99); also film music; improvisational pieces; sound sculptures; many other works.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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Rosenboom, David (Charles)

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