Friday, September 18, 2015
Michael Harrison's "Just Ancient Loops" at BAM
While in residence, composer Michael Harrison presented his Just Ancient Loops collaboration of music and film. The piece, which includes the rich polyphonic sound of 20 tracks of pre-recorded cellos, is to be presented as part of the BAM’s 2015 Next Wave Festival featuring cellist Maya Beiser, October 14 -17.
Described as an “American Maverick” by Philip Glass, Michael has forged an impressive career in the contemporary classical music scene with works that pair the ancient with the modern, the East with the West.
The co-founder and president of the American Academy of Indian Classical Music, Michael has been deeply involved in the musical form since 1979. He has performed solo at numerous concerts in India, and with Terry Riley, as a vocalist, pianist, and on tamboura. A disciple of the late Pandit Pran Nath, Michael has studied with master Indian vocalist Ustad Mashkoor Ali Khan since 1999.
Along with his many accomplishments as composer and performer, Michael also designed and created the "harmonic piano" in 1986. A grand piano that has been extensively alters so that it can play 24 notes per octave, the harmonic piano is included in the second edition of the Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments.
Michael has taught graduate seminars at the Manhattan School of Music, and was on the faculty of the Bang on a Can Summer Institute at MASS MoCA. He has performed his music and received premieres at the Spoleto Festival, Klavier Festival Ruhr in Germany, Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome, American Academy in Rome, Newman Center for the Performing Arts in Denver (solo and with composer/clarinetist Evan Ziporyn), Music in the Morning in Vancouver (with author Stuart Isacoff), Other Minds Festival in San Francisco, and in New York City at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, United Nations, Symphony Space, Merkin Concert Hall, Kaufmann Concert Hall at the 92nd St. Y, Wordless Music Series, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, numerous Bang On A Can Marathons at the World Financial Center, and with Kronos Quartet at Carnegie Hall performing with his mentor Terry Riley.
Recordings of Harrison's works have been released on Bang on a Can's Cantaloupe Music, New Albion Records, Important Records, and Fortuna Records, and chapters are devoted to his work in the books Grand Obsession (Scribner, by Perry Knize), and Temperament (A. Knopf, by Stuart Isacoff). http://www.michaelharrison.com