Georges Aperghis

Per Bloland

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Per Bloland is a composer of acoustic and electroacoustic music whose works have been described as having an “incandescent effect” with “dangerous and luscious textures.” The New York Times recently praised him for his “ear-opening electronic innovations.” His compositions range from short intimate solo pieces to works for large orchestra, incorporate video, dance, and custom built electronics, and often draw on a variety of other art forms. He is increasingly interested in the intersections between literature and music, especially regarding issues of modernity as related to both disciplines.

Bloland has received awards and recognition from national and international organizations, including IRCAM, SEAMUS/ASCAP, Digital Art Awards of Tokyo, the Martirano Competition, ISCM, the Eastman Computer Music Center, SCI/ASCAP, the Dal Niente Composer Competition, Taukay Edizioni Musicali, and the Accademia Musicale Pescarese. His work was recently selected for performance at the 2013 International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) World New Music Days in Slovakia. He has received commissions from the Guerilla Opera Company, Wild Rumpus, the East Coast Contemporary Ensemble (ECCE), Ensemble Pi, the Callithumpian Consort, Insomnio Ensemble, Stanford’s CCRMA, SEAMUS/ASCAP, the Kenners, Michael Straus and Patti Cudd. His music can be heard on the TauKay (Italy), Capstone, Spektral, and SEAMUS labels, and through the MIT Press. A portrait CD of his work, performed by the East Coast Contemporary Ensemble, is scheduled for release on Tzadik Records in the spring of 2014.

Performers of Bloland’s work include the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, the ICE Ensemble, Bent Frequency, Insomnio, the Callithumpian Consort, Linea Ensemble, ECCE, Inauthentica, Eliot Gattegno, Margaret Lancaster, Chryssie Nanou, Nicholas Ong, Brian Sacawa, Michael Straus, the Worn Chamber Ensemble, the Stanford Symphony Orchestra, Sebastian Berweck, John Sampen, and Marianne Gythfeldt. His music has been performed at Bourges, Darmstadt, ICMC, SEAMUS, SIGGRAPH, Gaudeamus, the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, the SCI National Conference, Stanford Lively Arts, the Third Practice Electroacoustic Music Festival, the Ingenuity Festival Cleveland, the Bowling Green New Music Festival, and the ISCM World New Music Days, among others. His collaborative video piece Graveshift has been widely viewed and acclaimed as part of the Visual Music Marathon.

Bloland is currently an Assistant Professor of Technology and Music Theory at Miami University, Ohio. He recently completed a five-month Musical Research Residency at IRCAM in Paris during the spring semester of 2013. Prior to his current appointment he was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Computer Music at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where he served as the founding director of the Oberlin Improvisation and Newmusic Collective (OINC). Bloland has also taught at UC Santa Cruz, Stanford University, and the University of Texas. He received his D.M.A. in composition from Stanford University, where he studied with Mark Applebaum, Brian Ferneyhough, Chris Chafe, and Erik Ulman. While at Stanford he worked extensively at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA). He received his M.M. from the University of Texas at Austin, where he acted as the Electronic Music Studios (EMS) Manager. While there he studied with Kevin Puts, Russell Pinkston, and Bruce Pennycook.

As a trumpet player he has performed in a number of jazz bands and orchestras in San Francisco and Austin. He participated in the Bay Area Guided Improv Ensemble for several years, and performed in OINC while at Oberlin.

As a researcher, Bloland has been investigating the interaction between literature and instrumental music, examining strategies employed by composers in reaction to literary influences. His dissertation, which drew heavily on these studies, involved the composition of a cycle of pieces based on an invented novel. His work with the Electromagnetically-Prepared Piano is the area of research that has received the most exposure. In addition to giving numerous lecture/demonstrations, he has thus far composed three pieces for the device and written one paper (“The Electromagnetically-Prepared Piano and its Compositional Implications,” published in the Proceedings for the International Computer Music Conference 2007). Building on this experience, his Musical Research Residency at IRCAM involved the creation of a physical model of the coupling between a resonator (such as a piano string) and an electromagnet.

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