Eric Chasalow (USA 1955) is widely recognized as a composer equally at home with electro-acoustic music as with music for traditional instrumental ensembles. He is especially well known for works that combine traditional instruments with electronic sound. In 2003, with the release of his second CD on New World Records, Left to His Own Devices, ARRAY, the journal of the International Computer Music Association, wrote that his music…“clearly establishes him as one of the leaders of our times…offer(ing) a wondrous fusion between distinct styles and mediums, …” Since then, he has composed numerous chamber works for prominent performers, electroacoustic pieces, and several large-scale orchestral works. In 2007 he completed a one-hour multimedia opera, The Puzzle Master that was premiered in Boston, with two initial performances followed by five more on tour. Two new CD compilations as well as a library edition of the scores for his complete works for instrument and electronics are planned for release between 2013 and 2015, in time for the composer’s 60th birthday.
Eric Chasalow’s music is programmed throughout the world, with recent performances in Berlin, Boston, La Paz, Los Angeles, Milan, New York, Rome, and San Francisco. The 2011-12 season was an especially active one for the composer. In October, Are You Radioactive, Pal? for alto saxophone and electronics had its European premiere, by Enzo Filipetti as part of the EMUFest in Rome. In January his Horn Concerto was premiered and recorded by Lucerne Festival Orchestra solo horn, Bruno Schneider with Boston Modern Orchestra Project in Jordan Hall in Boston and at the Southwestern Horn Conference in Phoenix Arizona. The season also included the world premieres of two newly commissioned large-scale works for chamber ensemble and electronics. Incident and Scatter, a Barlow Endowment commission, was premiered by The Talea Ensemble on March 9th at the Tenri Institute in New York City. Then, on April 16th, The New York New Music Ensemble performed the premiere of the Chamber Music America commission, On That Swirl of Ending Dust at New York’s Merkin Hall. On April 30th, the Lydian String Quartet premiered their commission, I’m Just Sayin’, for string quartet and electronics, at the Rose Museum in honor of newly inaugurated President of Brandeis University, Fredrick Lawrence. Happily, much of Chasalow’s catalog of virtuosic pieces for soloist and electronics continues to be performed with great regularity. Deborah Norin-Kuehn performed The Furies, from 1984, a setting of four poems of Anne Sexton for soprano and tape, on a concert by San Francisco’s Composers Inc., also last April. Similarly, Over the Edge (flute and tape 1986), In a Manner of Speaking (bass clarinet and tape 2000) and many others are newly discovered by young performers who enjoy the challenge each year and added to their repertoire.
Since 2001, Chasalow has produced the BEAMS Electronic Music Marathon, hosting carefully selected performances of work by composers and performers from around the world, as part of the Boston Cyberarts Festival. He was a founding member of the Music Committee for the Festival and served as an advisor for many years. He has long been associated with The Composers Conference at Wellesley College, an almost seventy-year-old organization that aids in early stages of their careers, and in 2012, became President of the board of directors.
In 1996, along with his wife, Barbara Cassidy, he established the The Video Archive of Electroacoustic Music an oral history project chronicling the pioneer electronic music composers and engineers from 1950 to the present. Short excerpted videos of interviewees including Bebe Baron, Milton Babbitt, Mario Davidovsky, Max Matthews, Morton Subotnick and others are currently available online. Plans are underway to stream interviews in their entirety online and the source materials will be contributed to the recently established Eric Chasalow collection in the Library of Congress.
Eric Chasalow is the Irving G. Fine Professor of Music at Brandeis University, and Director of BEAMS, the Brandeis Electro-Acoustic Music Studio where he has taught since 1990. A product of the famed Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center, he holds the D.M.A. from Columbia University where his principal teacher was Mario Davidovsky and where he studied flute with Harvey Sollberger. Other teachers included Elliott Schwartz, William T. McKinley, George Edwards, and Jack Beeson. Among his honors are awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, Koussevitzky Music Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Fromm Foundation at Harvard University (two commissions), New York Foundation for the Arts, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters (awards in 1986 and 2003). His music is available from Suspicious Motives Music, G. Schirmer, McGinnis & Marx (New York) and Edition Bim (Switzerland) and on CDs from New World Records, ICMC, Intersound Net Records, SEAMUS, Suspicious Motioves Records, and RRRecords. Additional information may be found at www.ericchasalow.com
Shatter and Glide (2012-13) string trio and electronics. In three movements. Network for New Music commission.
I’m Just Sayin’ (2012) string quartet and electronics. The Lydian String Quartet commission.
On That Swirl of Ending Dust (2011) fl,cl,vln,vc,prc,pn, electronics. In four movements. New York New Music Ensemble and Chamber Music America commission.
Incident and Scatter (2011-12) fl,cl,vln,vc,prc,pn, electronics. Talea Ensemble and the Barlow Endowment for Music commission.
Are You Radioactive, Pal? (2010) alto saxophone and electronic sound. In three movements.
Scuffle and Snap (2010) violin and electronic sound.
String Sextet (2009). In three movements. Portland Chamber Music Festival commission.
Horn Concerto (2008-09). In four movements.
Symphony of Popular Misconceptions (2008-10), 5.1 surround; fixed media. (multiple movements, on-going)
The Puzzle Master (2007), text by F.D. Reeve. One-hour multimedia opera for five singers, keyboard, electronics and video.
Flute Concerto (Three Love Poems) (2005) consortium commission with the Koussevitzky Music Foundation.
Concerning Sunspots (2004), large orchestra. Boston Modern Orchestra Project. Fromm Foundation commission.
Into Your Ears (2004), electroacoustic.
Trois Espaces du Son (2004) piano, perc, tape. Commissioned by the Miroglio-Aprodu duo, Paris.
Wolpe Variations (2003) electroacoustic. Commissioned by the Stefan Wolpe Society to mark the Wolpe Centennial year.
Lo Schermo (2002) flute, violin, piano. Commissioned by David Macculi. Rome, Switzerland, Germany, Japan.
Due (Cinta)mani (2002) piano and tape. Commissioned by Vicki Ray. PianoSphere LA series.
What is Danced…(and what is not) (2002) harp and tape. Commissioned by Lucia Bova (Rome).
Dream Songs (2001) on poems of John Berryman. orchestra and tape. Commissioned by Boston Modern Orchestra Project. Boston Symphony Hall premiere.
In a Manner of Speaking (2000) bass clarinet and tape. Commissioned by Guido Arbonelli.
Crossing Boundaries (2000) electroacoustic. Commissioned by Bates College for the millenium.
Suspicious Motives (1999), fl, cl, vln, vc, tape. Commissioned by Boston Musica Viva for the millennium.
Five Simic Songs (1998), soprano and string quartet. Commissioned in honor of the 50th anniversary of Brandeis University.
‘Scuse Me (1998), electric guitar and tape. commissioned by Tim Brady.
To The Edge and Back (1997), flute and piano. Commissioned by the Papoutsakis Flute Competition commission.
Left to His Own Devices, electroacoustic (1996)
A Loose Translation, piano (1995 - 96) in three movements.
Out of Joint, trumpet and tape (1994) Commissioned for Mauro Maur by Nuova Consonanza.
Pass it On, soprano and piano (1994). poem of Rachel Hadas.
And it flew upside-down, computer generated sound (1994) Commissioned by the Watertown Cultural Council.
In The Works fl,cl,vln,vc,prc,pn (1993) Commissioned by the Fromm Foundation.
The Fury of Rainstorms (1992) electroacoustic.
This Way Out (1991) electroacoustic.
First Quartet, (1989-90) string quartet.
Winding Up (1989) horn solo. Bruno Schneider commission.
Over The Edge flute and tape (1986). National Endowment for the Arts commission.
The Furies, soprano and tape (1984) Four poems of Anne Sexton. In four movements. National Endowment for the Arts commission.
Triptych, soprano and piano. (1984) Three poems by Elizabeth Bishop and Rachel Hadas.
Hanging in the Balance 'cello and tape (1983). National Endowment for the Arts commission.
Are You Radioactive, Pal? CD Albany Records, for 2013 release.
Left to His Own Devices, CD of music from 1994-2001 New World Records 2003.
Suspicious Motives, SEAMUS CD #11, 2002.
In a Manner of Speaking, Guido Arbonelli, bass cl.; ICMC2001 CD
‘Scuse Me, Marco Pavin, guitar; Intersound Net Records CD, 2001.
And it Flew Upside-down, and This Way Out, RRRecords CD, 1996.
Fast Forward, SEAMUS CD, 1994.
Over the Edge, New World Records CD, 1993.
This Way Out , International Computer Music Conference CD, 1992.
Eric Chasalow’s tracks