Speaker: Prof George Lewis
P. Multitudinis (George Lewis, 2018) is a situational-form work that is also partially open in terms of scale and instrumentation. The work's title comes from Baruch Spinoza’s Tractatus Politicus (Political Treatise), written in 1675-76. In the earliest versions of the score, I described P. Multitudinis as an “open form” work.
Open form has been associated with ideas of freedom, particularly with respect to classical music’s historically articulated dialectic with notation. In that sense, a discussion of two of the most radically open-form works, Earle Brown’s December 1952 and John Cage’s 4’33”, allows a consideration of why I navigated away from the open-form rubric toward my current and ongoing development of the notion of situational form.
About the Speaker
Prof George E. Lewis is Professor of American Music at Columbia University. A Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy, Lewis’s other honors include a MacArthur Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Doris Duke Artist Award.
Lewis is the co-editor of the two-volume Oxford Handbook of Critical Improvisation Studies (2016), holds honorary degrees from the University of Edinburgh, New College of Florida, and Harvard University, and is an Honorary Member of the American Musicological Society. Lewis's compositions have been presented worldwide, published by Edition Peters.
A member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, his 2008 book, A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music (University of Chicago Press) received the American Book Award.
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