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Michael Gordon (1956-     )

Michael Gordon, composerMichael Gordon's music merges subtle rhythmic invention with incredible power embodying, in the words of The New Yorker's Alex Ross, "the fury of punk rock, the nervous brilliance of free jazz and the intransigence of classical modernism." Over the past 25 years, Gordon has produced a strikingly diverse body of work, ranging from large-scale pieces for high-energy ensembles to major orchestral commissions to works conceived specifically for the recording studio. Transcending categorization, this music represents the collision of mysterious introspection and brutal directness. Michael Gordon's special interest in adding dimensionality to the traditional concert experience has led to collaborations with numerous artists in other media, most frequently with filmmaker Bill Morrison and Ridge Theater. Gordon has been commissioned by Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, the BBC Proms, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Settembre Musica, the Holland Music Festival, the Dresden Festival, and the Sydney 2000 Olympic Arts Festival, among others. His music has been performed at the Kennedy Center, Theatre De La Ville, Barbican Centre, Oper Bonn, Kolner Philharmonie and the Southbank Centre. The recipient of multiple awards and grants, Gordon has been honored by the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Formed in 1983 as The Michael Gordon Philharmonic and renamed The Michael Gordon Band in 2000, Gordon's own ensemble performed across Europe and the United States at venues as diverse as Alice Tully Hall and the punk mecca CBGB, on the Contemporary Music Network Tour and at the Almeida Festival in London. He is Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of the internationally-renowned Bang on a Can Festival.
-  Boston Modern Orchestra Project

COMPOSITIONS                                                            Michael Gordon Links     ~ ~ ~     Works by Genre
Thou Shalt!/Thou Shalt Not!, clarinet/bass cl, violin, viola, electric guitar, electronic organ, percussion [amplified] (1983)
Strange Quiet, clarinet/bass cl, violin, viola, electric guitar, percussion and piano (1985)
The Low Quartet, bass cl, bar. sax, trombone & double bass (or any 4 low instrs; also vers. for 3bcl.cbc. and 3bn.cbn) (1985)
Acid Rain, flute/picc/alto fl, clarinet/Eb cl/bass cl, 2 violins, viola, cello, double bass and electronic organ (1986)
Four Kings Fight Five, large ensemble (1988)
Paint It Black, double bass (1988)
Van Gogh, opera (1991) [libretto: based on the letters of Vincent van Gogh]
Romeo, chamber orchestra (1992)
Yo Shakespeare, large ensemble (1992)
Industry, amplified cello and electronics (1992)
XVI, chorus (16 voices) (1993)
Trance, large ensemble and audio playback (1995)
I Buried Paul, clarinet, cello, double bass, electric guitar, percussion and keyboard sampler (1996)
acdc, flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano (1996)
Grand Dairy, electro-acoustic work for video installation (1996)
Weather, string orchestra, with trumpet, electronics and tape  (1997) [also version for string sextet]
Love Bead, large ensemble (1997)
XY,  5 tuned drums (1997)
House Arrest, First Edition, incid. music, cl, drum beats, string trio & sampled interviews on tape (1997) [in collab. w/Julia Wolfe]
Chaos, opera, singers and electronic tape (1998)
Intricacies of a Third Order, dance piece, chamber ensemble (1998)
Link, dance piece, chamber ensemble (1998) [in collab. w/David Lang]
Vera, Chuck & Dave, large ensemble (1998)
The Carbon Copy Building, comic book opera (1999) [libretto & drawings: Ben Katchor] [in collab. w/David Lang and Julia Wolfe]
Sunshine of Your Love, orchestra (1999)
Haircut, chamber orchestra (2000)
Potassium, amplified string quartet and electronics (2000)
Lost Objects, oratorio, soloists, chorus, DJ, elec ens. & Baroque orch (2001) [libretto: D. Artman] [in collab. w/D. Lang & J. Wolfe]
Decasia, orchestra/a large-scale symphony with film projections (2001) [music was composed first, then film was cut to the score]
    - Decasia, documentary film score (2002)
Gotham, orchestra, w/film, projections and lighting (2004) [music was composed first, then film was cut to the score]
Who By Water, large ensemble (2004)
Idle, 3 violins and audio playback (2004)
Tinge, 3 violins and audio playback (2004)
Light Is Calling, violin (or cello) and audio playback (2004)
Sonatra, piano (2004)
Light Is Calling, short film score (2004)
What to Wear, opera (2005) [libretto: Richard Foreman]
Acquanetta, opera (2005) [libretto: Deborah Artman]
Shelter, staged oratorio (2005) [libretto: Deborah Artman] [in collaboration with David Lang and Julia Wolfe]
Rewriting Beethoven's Seventh Symphony, orchestra (2006)
The Sad Park, amplified string quartet, audio playback and electronics (2006)
Dystopia, orchestra and film projections  (2007) [music was composed first, then film was cut to the score]
Every Stop On The F Train, treble voices (2007)
Who by Water, short film score (2007)
Lightning at our feet, song cycle/theatrical presentation, 4 female singers, also playing instruments (2008) [text: Emily Dickinson]
[purgatorio] POPOPERA, 6 electric guitars (2008)
the light of the dark, flute, clarinet, violin, cello, percussion and piano (performers double on variety of instrs & perc) (2008)
Music for Airports (2008) [Brian Eno's classic arr. for live performance by M. Gordon, David Lang, Julia Wolfe & Evan Ziporyn]
He Saw a Skull, chorus (12 voices) (2009)
Timber, 6 percussionists playing on 6 wooden simantras (2009)
for Madeline, clarinet, piano, electric guitar, vibraphone, cello and double bass (2009)
Exalted, youth chorus and string quartet (2010)
Clouded Yellow, string quartet (2010)
Tree-oh, 3 violins (2011) [also for solo violin and audio playback]


WORKS BY GENRE                                                            Michael Gordon Links     ~ top of page ~
Dramatic/Theater
Van Gogh, opera (1991) [libretto: based on the letters of Vincent van Gogh]
Chaos, opera, singers and electronic tape (1998)
The Carbon Copy Building, comic book opera (1999) [libretto & drawings: Ben Katchor] [in collab. w/David Lang and Julia Wolfe]
Lost Objects, oratorio, soloists, chorus, DJ, elec ens. & Baroque orch (2001) [libretto: D. Artman] [in collab. w/D. Lang & J. Wolfe]
What to Wear, opera (2005) [libretto: Richard Foreman]
Acquanetta, opera (2005) [libretto: Deborah Artman]
Shelter, staged oratorio (2005) [libretto: Deborah Artman] [in collaboration with David Lang and Julia Wolfe]
Lightning at our feet, song cycle/theatrical presentation, 4 female singers, also playing instruments (2008) [text: Emily Dickinson]

Dance
Intricacies of a Third Order, dance piece, chamber ensemble (1998)
Link, dance piece, chamber ensemble (1998) [in collab. w/David Lang]
[purgatorio] POPOPERA, 6 electric guitars (2008)

Orchestra
Romeo, chamber orchestra (1992)
Weather, string orchestra, with trumpet, electronics and tape  (1997) [also version for string sextet]
Sunshine of Your Love, orchestra (1999)
Haircut, chamber orchestra (2000)
Decasia, orchestra/a large-scale symphony with film projections (2001) [music was composed first, then film was cut to the score]
Gotham, orchestra, w/film, projections and lighting (2004) [music was composed first, then film was cut to the score]
Rewriting Beethoven's Seventh Symphony, orchestra (2006)
Dystopia, orchestra and film projections  (2007) [music was composed first, then film was cut to the score]

Large Ensemble
Four Kings Fight Five, large ensemble (1988)
Yo Shakespeare, large ensemble (1992)
Trance, large ensemble and audio playback (1995)
Love Bead, large ensemble (1997)
Vera, Chuck & Dave, large ensemble (1998)
Who By Water, large ensemble (2004)

Choral
XVI, chorus (16 voices) (1993)
Every Stop On The F Train, treble voices (2007)
He Saw a Skull, chorus (12 voices) (2009)
Exalted, youth chorus and string quartet (2010)

Chamber
Thou Shalt!/Thou Shalt Not!, clarinet/bass cl, violin, viola, electric guitar, electronic organ, percussion [amplified] (1983)
Strange Quiet, clarinet/bass cl, violin, viola, electric guitar, percussion and piano (1985)
The Low Quartet, bass cl, bar. sax, trombone & double bass (or any 4 low instrs; also vers. for 3bcl.cbc. and 3bn.cbn) (1985)
Acid Rain, flute/picc/alto fl, clarinet/Eb cl/bass cl, 2 violins, viola, cello, double bass and electronic organ (1986)
I Buried Paul, clarinet, cello, double bass, electric guitar, percussion and keyboard sampler (1996)
acdc, flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano (1996)
Weather One, string sextet (1997) [also version for string orchestra, with trumpet, electronics and tape]
Potassium, amplified string quartet and electronics (2000)
Idle, 3 violins and audio playback (2004)
Tinge, 3 violins and audio playback (2004)
The Sad Park, amplified string quartet, audio playback and electronics (2006)
the light of the dark, flute, clarinet, violin, cello, percussion and piano (performers double on variety of instrs & perc) (2008)
Music for Airports (2008) [Brian Eno's classic arr. for live performance by M. Gordon, David Lang, Julia Wolfe & Evan Ziporyn]
Timber, 6 percussionists playing on 6 wooden simantras (2009)
for Madeline, clarinet, piano, electric guitar, vibraphone, cello and double bass (2009)
Exalted, youth chorus and string quartet (2010)
Clouded Yellow, string quartet (2010)
Tree-oh, 3 violins (2011) [also for solo violin and audio playback]

Percussion
XY,  5 tuned drums (1997)
Timber, 6 percussionists playing on 6 wooden simantras (2009)

Solo Instrument
Paint It Black, double bass (1988)
Industry, amplified cello and electronics (1992)
XY,  5 tuned drums (1997)
Light Is Calling, violin (or cello) and audio playback (2004)
Tree-oh, violin and audio playback (2011) [also for 3 violins]

Piano
Sonatra, piano (2004)

Film
Decasia, orchestra/a large-scale symphony with film projections (2001) [music was composed first, then film was cut to the score]
    - Decasia, documentary film score (2002)
Gotham, orchestra, w/film, projections and lighting (2004) [music was composed first, then film was cut to the score]
Light Is Calling, short film score (2004)
Dystopia, orchestra and film projections  (2007) [music was composed first, then film was cut to the score]
Who by Water, short film score (2007)
Hunger, short film score (2010)

Incidental Music
House Arrest, First Edition, incid. music, cl, drum beats, string trio & sampled interviews on tape (1997) [in collab. w/Julia Wolfe]

Electronic/Multi-media
Grand Dairy, electro-acoustic work for video installation (1996)


MICHAEL GORDON  LINKS                                                            Works by Genre      ~ top of page ~
Bang On A Can/Interview - May 1999 (In the First Person, Frank J. Oteri, NewMusicBox)
Electronic Dialogues/1 - Michael Gordon (Sequenza21)
eMusic Q&A: Bang On A Can (Jayson Greene, eMusic)
An Interview with Michael Gordon (Alan Baker, American Mavericks/American Public Media)
Michael Gordon Interviews (linked through the composer's website)
What Kind of Music Is This Anyway? (Michael Gordon, The New York Times)

Composer's website    . . .   contact Michael Gordon:  here

Michael Gordon @ Wikipedia
Michael Gordon @ American Music Center
Michael Gordon @ Answers.com
Michael Gordon @ Art + Culture
Michael Gordon @ Bang on a Can
Michael Gordon @ Boston Modern Orchestra Project
Michael Gordon @ BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music)
Michael Gordon @ CITWF / Complete Index to World Film
Michael Gordon @ Classical Archives
Michael Gordon @ Classical Composers Database
Michael Gordon @ Classical Net
Michael Gordon @ ClassicsToday
Michael Gordon @ composition:today
Michael Gordon @ Facebook
Michael Gordon @ IMDb (Internet Movie Database)
Michael Gordon @ InstantEncore
Michael Gordon @ Los Angeles Philharmonic
Michael Gordon @ Mantra Percussion
Michael Gordon @ Modern Classical
Michael Gordon @ MusicWeb International
Michael Gordon @ Naxos
Michael Gordon @ The New York Times
Michael Gordon @ Nonesuch Records
Michael Gordon @ Random Dance
Michael Gordon @ G. Schirmer
Michael Gordon @ Serious Music Media

Publisher
Michael Gordon @ Red Poppy Music
Michael Gordon @ Red Poppy/G. Schirmer

Streaming Audio
Michael Gordon @ Composer's website
Michael Gordon @ Classical Archives
Michael Gordon @ last.fm
Michael Gordon @ Rhapsody.com

Recordings
Michael Gordon @ Composer's website
Michael Gordon @ ArkivMusic
Michael Gordon @ Bang on a Can
Michael Gordon @ ClassicsOnline
Michael Gordon @ Discogs
Michael Gordon @ Nonesuch Records

Video
Michael Gordon @ YouTube
Michael Gordon @ Google Video
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