La Monte Young

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Creado el: 1 Abr 2006
La Monte Young is one of the most influential underground composers of the 20th century. His early experiments with long tones in 1957-58, fusing as they did interests in both twelve-tone music and...

La Monte Young has pioneered the concept of extended time durations in contemporary music for over 40 years. He contributed extensively to the study of just intonation and to the development of rational number based tuning systems that are used in his periodic composite sound waveform environments, as well as in many of his major performance works. Presentations of Young's work in the U.S. and Europe, as well as his theoretical writings, gradually influenced a group of composers to create a static, periodic music which became known as Minimalism. Musician magazine stated, "As the acknowledged father of minimalism and guru emeritus to the British art-rock school, his influence is pervasive," and in 1985 the Los Angeles Herald Examiner wrote, " for the past quarter of a century he has been the most influential composer in America. Maybe in the world." In Minimalism:Origins, 1993, Edward Strickland added, “Young is now widely recognized as the originator of the most influential classical music style of the final third of the twentieth century.”

In L.A. in the '50s Young played jazz saxophone, leading a group with Billy Higgins, Dennis Budimir and Don Cherry. He also played with Eric Dolphy, Ornette Coleman, Terry Jennings, Don Friedman and Tiger Echols. At Yoko Ono's studio in 1960 he was director of the first New York loft concert series. He was the editor of An Anthology (NY 1963), which with his Compositions 1960 became a primary influence on concept art and the Fluxus movement. In 1962 Young founded his group, The Theatre of Eternal Music, and embarked on The Tortoise, His Dreams and Journeys (1964- ), a large work involving improvisation within strict predetermined guidelines. Young played sopranino saxophone and sang with the group. Dennis Johnson, Terry Riley, Angus MacLise, Marian Zazeela, Tony Conrad, John Cale, Jon Gibson, Jon Hassell, Lee Konitz and David Rosenboom are among those who worked in this group under Young's direction.

With Marian Zazeela in the early '60s he formulated the concept of a Dream House, a permanent space with sound and light environments in which a work would be played continuously. Young and Zazeela have presented works in sound and light worldwide, from music and light box sculptures to large-scale environmental installations, culminating in two Dia Art Foundation realizations: the 6-year continuous 6-story Harrison Street Dream House (NYC 1979-85) and the 1-year environment (22nd Street NYC 1989-90) within which Young presented The Lower Map of The Eleven's Division in The Romantic Symmetry (over a 60 cycle base) in Prime Time from 112 to 144 with 119 with the Theatre of Eternal Music Big Band. This 23-piece chamber orchestra was the largest Theatre of Eternal Music ensemble to appear in concert to date. Young has since presented Dream House sound environments at MAC Lyon (1999); Espace Donguy, Paris (1990); Ruine der Künste, Berlin (1992); Pompidou Center, Paris (1994-95); Musée Art Contemporain Lyon (1999) and the MELA Foundation Dream House: Seven Years of Sound and Light, which opened in New York in 1993 and will continue beyond the year 2000. As the first western disciple of renowned master vocalist Pandit Pran Nath, Young has performed and taught the Kirana style of Indian classical music since 1970.

The 1974 Rome live world premiere of Young's magnum opus The Well-Tuned Piano (1964-73-81-present), was celebrated by a commission for him to sign the Bösendorfer piano, which remains permanently in the special tuning. Gramavision's full-length recording of the continuously evolving 5-hour-plus work has been acclaimed by critics to be "the most important and beautiful new work recorded in the 1980s," "one of the great monuments of modern culture" and "the most important piano music composed by an American since the Concord Sonata." At the 1987 MELA Foundation La Monte Young 30-Year Retrospective he played the work for a continuous 6 hours and 24 minutes.

In the ‘80s and ‘90s, The Theatre of Eternal Music Brass and String Ensembles led by Ben Neill and Charles Curtis presented numerous performances in the U.S. and Europe of The Melodic Versions (1984) of The Four Dreams of China (1962), one of Young’s most important early minimal works, from which in 1991 Gramavision released a CD of The Second Dream of The High-Tension Line Stepdown Transformer. In 1990 Young formed The Forever Bad Blues Band, which has performed extensively in Germany, Austria, Holland, Italy and the U.S., presenting two to three-hour continuous concerts of Young's Dorian Blues, with Young, keyboard, Jon Catler, just intonation and fretless guitar, Brad Catler, bass, Jonathan Kane, drums, and Marian Zazeela, light design. In 1993 Gramavision released the 2-CD set, La Monte Young, The Forever Bad Blues Band, Just Stompin’/Live at the Kitchen.

At the invitation of the French government for La Beauté exhibition celebrating the Year 2000, Young and Zazeela created a four-month Dream House in St. Joseph Church in Avignon. The installation featured the continuous DVD projection of the 1987 six-hour 24-minute performance of their collaborative masterwork, The Well-Tuned Piano in The Magenta Lights, in a site specific light environment created by Zazeela. L’Express L’An 2000 Supplement headlined their appraisal of the project: “La Monte Young: Le Son du Siècle.”

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