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  1. Navigating 20th Century Music: California Mavericks
  2. Michael Tilson Thomas’s “American Mavericks” festival.
  3. Fanfare for an American Maverick: Ruth Crawford Seeger
  4. Mavericks and Other Traditions in American Music | Yale University Press

That was when it hit me.

Navigating 20th Century Music: California Mavericks

This is music that is experiential, not intentionally aesthetically-pleasing; it has a point, often philosophical or emotional, and it serves just that purpose whether it is immediately gratifying or not. This is music for conversation and understanding rather than easy listening or, goodness gracious, dancing. It can be lovely, it can be harsh, but it is essentially representative in a very Mussorgsky-esque way. That is perhaps the best context for understanding the kind of 20th Century Music that will be featured on the program for California Mavericks this coming Wednesday; music for your mind and for good conversations.

Henry Cowell studied with composer Charles Seeger at UC Berkeley, wrote the first biography of composer Charles Ives, and expanded 20th Century music with the practices of purposeful tone clusters, dissonant counterpoint, and hyper-complex polyrhythms.

The great-grandfather of bands like Tera Melos. He also developed the New Music series, traveled to Japan and brought many techniques and sound concepts back to the U.

Michael Tilson Thomas’s “American Mavericks” festival.

Charles Louis Seeger, Jr. Known to many as the father of American folk singer Pete Seeger, Charles Seeger was a noteworthy musicologist, composer, and teacher. Seeger taught at UC Berkeley after discovering a hearing impairment during his tenure as director of the Cologne Opera.


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Seeger was also the husband of illustrious composer Ruth Crawford Seeger; an equally prolific modernist composer and American Folk Music specialist. Perhaps his most crucial contribution was, in fact, the many students whom he influenced and who went on to establish the contemporary musical dialect. This proved most influential as his own composition-aesthetic evolved to become one of innovative sound-experimentation through acoustics and space.

Fanfare for an American Maverick: Ruth Crawford Seeger

Music, which should pulsate with life, needs new means of expression, and science alone can infuse it with youthful vigor. He celebrates his 90th birthday this year.

Pierre Boulez is a musical mathematician in all senses. Boulez was a leader in the Abstract movement in music and influenced the works of many composers such as Luciano Berio, John Cage, and Karlheinz Stockhausen during the heyday of musical exploration in Darmstadt, Germany. The composer studied and practiced Indian philosophy and Zen Buddhism which opened him to the Chinese classical text the I Ching which explores order within chaos.

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AME programs both cutting edge and traditional works, presenting unique, engaging events that encourage dialogue between artists and audiences. Recent collaborations include the Dance Theater of Harlem and Talujon percussion ensemble. For more information, visit americanmodernensemble.

Smith [] Clarinet and Computer-Transformed Sounds. About American Modern Ensemble. These events, too, were an up-and-down affair, at times numbingly tedious in time-honored downtown fashion. A group of pieces for jazz septet, by the guitarist and composer Mary Halvorson, explored the border zones between genres with a great deal more zest.

Mavericks and Other Traditions in American Music | Yale University Press

An old-school eccentric who drew media attention a few years ago for carrying around a bulky push-button telephone outfitted with cellular capability, Perich has specialized in pieces for one-bit electronics—raw, buzzing sonorities harking back to the early days of synthesized sound.

The antique machines of different ages came together in a hurtling form, savage and beautiful and strange.


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