Country:   USA
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James Tenney was born in 1934 in Silver City, New Mexico, and grew up in Arizona and Colorado, where he received his early training as a pianist and composer. He attended the University of Denver, the Juilliard School of Music, Bennington College (B.A. 1958) and the University of Illinois (M.A. 1961). His teachers have included Eduard Steuermann, Chou Wen-Chung, Lionel Nowak, Carl Ruggles, Lejaren Hiller, Kenneth Gaburo, and Edgard Varèse. A performer as well as a composer and theorist, he was co-founder and conductor of the Tone Roads Chamber Ensemble in New York City (1963-70). He has long been active in the field of electronic and computer music, working with Max Mathews and others at the Bell Telephone Laboratories in the early 1960s to develop programs for computer sound-generation and composition. He has written works for a variety of media, both instrumental and electronic, many of them using alternative tuning systems. He is the author of numerous articles on musical acoustics, computer music, musical form and perception, and two books: META + HODOS: A Phenomenology of 20th-Century Musical Materialsand an Approach to the Study of Form (1961; Frog Peak, 1988) and A History of 'Consonance' and 'Dissonance' (Excelsior, 1988). He has received grants and awards from the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the Canada Council, the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, the Fromm Foundation, the DAAD (Germany) and the Jean A. Chalmers Award for his work Critical Band. He has taught at the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, California Institute of the Arts, and the University of California, and is currently Professor of Music at York University in Toronto, where he was recently named Distinguished Research Professor, the first in the history of the university from the Faculty of Fine Arts. His music is published by Sonic Art Editions (Baltimore) and the Canadian Music Centre, and distributed by them and by Frog Peak (Lebanon, NH); recordings are available from Aerial, Artifact, CRI, Ear, Frog Peak, Hat Hut, Mode, Musicworks, Tellus, Toshiba EMI, and ¿What Next?.
19 Selected Statements
      Worktype Info Year Country Admin
Collage #1 (Blue Suede) Electronic Composition [R: Musicworks 34 cass.; Artifact 1007/Frog Peak 001 CD; T] 1961 USA Edit
Analog #1: Noise Study Computer music [R: Artifact 1007/Frog Peak 001 CD; Music from Mathematics, Decca LP DL 9103 (o. p. ); T] 1961 USA Edit
Entrance/Exit Music. Computer music R: Tellus 24 cass 1962 USA Edit
Ergodos I. Computer music - 1963 USA Edit
Choreogram. Verbal score for any number of musicians performing with dancers - 1964 USA Edit
Postal Pieces. Composition 1965-71 1965 USA Edit
Collage #2 Viet Flakes Composition [R: Musicworks 56 Sound / Image CD; T] 1966 USA Edit
Fuses Experimental Film 1967 USA Edit
Quintext I-V: Five Textures for String Quartet and Bass: Some Recent Thoughts for Morton Feldman, Clouds for Iannis Xenakis, A Choir of Angels for Carl Ruggles, Parabolas and Hyperbolas for Edgard Varèse, Spectra for Harry Partch Composition - 1972 USA Edit
Spectral CANON for CONLON Nancarrow Composition [R: Donaueschinger Musiktage 1994, col legno WWE 3CD 31882; Cold Blue LP L-10 (o. p.); T] 1974 USA Edit
Harmonium #4 Composition - 1978 USA Edit
Three Indigenous Songs Composition For Lionel Nowak. Commissioned by New Music Concerts with the assistance of the Ontario Arts Council. [R: Musicworks 27 cass.; T] 1979 Canada Edit
Septet. Composition [R: Mills College Contemporary Ensemble,Tellus cass. 14; T] 1981 USA Edit
deus ex machina Composition - 1982 USA Edit
Bridge. Composition [R: Gertrud Schneider, Tomas Bächli, Manfred Werder, and Erika Rademacher, hat ART CD 6193; Musicworks 27 cass.; T] 1984 USA Edit
Love Me Do and Do You Want to Know a Secret. Composition Commissioned by Toshiba EMI for Aki Takahashi. Copyright JT. [R: Aki Takahashi, ÒLet It BeÓ, Toshiba EMI CD TOCE-8021] 1992 Japan Edit
Tempest II Composition Written for Stephan von Huenes mechanical drum. Copyright JT. 1994 USA Edit
In a large, reverberant space Composition indeterminate length. Copyright JT. 1995 USA Edit
SongnDance for Harry Partch Composition Commissioned by Donaueschinger Musiktage with the assistance of Betty Freeman. Copyright JT 1999 Germany Edit