David Tudor

David Tudor at the performance table, Merce Cunningham Dance Company

“In August 1952, when John Cage premiered his landmark composition 4’33”, the guy who sat at the piano occasionally turning a page but never hitting any keys was David Tudor. An avant-garde pianist and experimental composer born in Philadelphia in 1926, Tudor is inextricably linked to Cage—he performed the premiere of just about every piano piece the older man wrote in the 50s and early 60s. He was also a key collaborator of many of Cage’s peers from the New York School of the 50s, such as Morton Feldman, Earle Brown, Christian Wolff, all of whom helped pioneer the use of graphic notation and indeterminacy. Tudor interpreted work by other radical composers of the era as well, including Karlheinz Stockhausen, La Monte Young, Sylvano Bussotti, and Stefan Wolpe. Rigorously trained and technically brilliant, he thrived in situations where he had to make creative choices, deciding how to interpret deliberately loose instructions. Once he got a taste of that freedom, though, he seems to have wanted more and more—within just a few years he’d all but abandoned the instrument he’d spent decades mastering. … Tudor’s output during this era is under­documented and thus overlooked, in large part because he privileged the unpredictable live permutations of his music, most of which he performed to accompany work by the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. His scores (or more accurately diagrams) made it almost impossible to render a piece the same way twice, and at any rate Tudor wasn’t interested in doing so; for most of his compositions, no definitive version can exist. He didn’t tend to go into the studio, and almost nobody else ever played his music. A few recordings do exist, thankfully, and a new seven-CD box set called The Art of David Tudor: 1963-1992 (New World) collects 14 of them, the longest an hour and the shortest a hair under 12 minutes. Many have never been released before, at least not in their entirety (four were excerpted in 2010 for the monumental ten-CD set Music for Merce), and they provide an unprecedented and detailed look at Tudor’s groundbreaking electronic experiments. …”
A new box set gives experimental composer David Tudor his due
W – David Tudor
David Tudor
Presenting David Tudor: A Conversation with Bruce Duffie
David Tudor electronics
MoMA: The Evolution of David Tudor’s Rainforest (Audio)
Discogs (Video), amazon

Wesleyan University Electronic Music Studio – Gordon Mumma built a lot of electronics for Tudor – this Cybersonics Output Splitter provides four individual amplifiers and outputs for one in signal.

amazon: The Art of David Tudor (1963-1992)

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
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