(BY AND ABOUT)
The bilingual English/Italian book Alvin Curran: Live in Roma, edited by Daniela Tortora and with text by Tortora, Eleonora Ludovici, David Bernstein, and A.C., is available in the USA from Forced Exposure, in Italy from FNAC, and in the rest of the world from the publisher, Die Schachtel. "Among other things, an absorbing long conversation between Curran and David Bernstein . . . Curran is insufficiently celebrated both in his native America and in his adopted homeland." - Alex Ross
Curran writes with a baseball bat as well as a piano, slamming words into center field of the new music park, much to the horrified delight of the literate world. Here is a selection of program and CD notes and other illegal poetry since 1969...
"There Went Everybody: A Centennial Reflection," Western Front, December 2012
Chapter in Drammaturgie sonore: Teatri del secondo Novecento, ed. Valentina Valentini, Bulzoni, Rome, 2012
"Riflessioni sul centenario," alfaCage, ed. Daniele Lombardi, monthly supplement to alfabeta2 no. 24, November 2012, p. 8
"From Via della Luce to The Road," on Frederic Rzewski, Contemporary Music Review, 2011, vol. 29 no. 6, pp. 621-642
"Serene Dialectics," in Song-Ming Aug and Kim Cascone, The Book of Guilty Pleasures, 2011, pp. 50-51
"Permesso di Soggiorno: An Opera in Several Acts" in Alvin Curran: Live in Roma, Daniela Tortora, ed., Die Schachtel, Milan, 2010, pp. 202-238 (bilingual, in English and Italian).
"Arnold Meets Steve at the Five Spot" (score) in Tone Roads Piano Book, Daniel Matej and Peter Zagar, eds., International Society for Contemporary Music, Bratislava, 2010, pp. 103-105
"When I saw Kosugi Get Into a Large Duffel Bag With His Guitar," in Arcana V: Music, Magic and Mysticism, ed. John Zorn. Hips Road, Tzadik, 2010, pp. 98-103
"Give Chance a Chance," in John Cage, Fondazione Mudima, Milan, 2009, p. 335
"The Score: In Memory of Maryanne Amacher," New York Times on line, Opinionator, December 27, 2009 (listed as "Notable" in Ann Powers, Best Music Writing 2010, Da Capo Press 2010)
"Around the avant-garde: Avant-garde and counterculture," roundtable with Terry Riley presented by Carmen Pardo, in The Limits of Composition?, ed. Carmen Pardo, La Casa Encendida (Caja Madrid), pp. 73-94
"E poi...," essay and score excerpt, in Elliott Carter: A Centennial Celebration, ed. Marc Ponthus and Susan Tang, Pendragon Press, Hillsdale, NY, 2008, pp. 41-46
"'Shabbes Goy' der neuen Musik," in memory of Mauricio Kagel, MusikTexte 119, December 2008, p. 29
In the blog series, "The Score: four innovative American composers sound off, " ed. Peter Catapano:
"Oh Brass On The Grass Alas," New York Times on line, TimesSelect Opinion, March 29, 2007
"Before I Got Wired," New York Times on line, TimesSelect Opinion, March 19, 2007
"Music 24/7," New York Times on line, TimesSelect Opinion, March 11, 2007
"Laudatio: Steve Lacy," New York Times on line, TimesSelect Opinion, March 4, 2007
"On Spontaneous Music," Contemporary Music Review Vol. 25, No. 5, October 2006, pp. 485 – 492.
"A Sign is a Sign is a Sign," in "Suoni e Segni: Sinestesie e Grafie Musicali," ed. Luigi Ceccarelli, Progetto grafico, year 4, issue 7, January 2006, pp. 24-26.
"Reflections on 2005," The Wire January 2006, page 49.
"Leserbrief," Positionen 64, August 2005, p. 40-44.
"Two Texts," (reprint of liner notes from Why is this night different than all other nights? and Animal Behavior) Vanitas 1: THE STATE (Vincent Katz, ed.), 2005, p. 119-120.
"Brut Beat Brute Bruit," KunstMusik: Schriften zur Musik Als Kunst, issue 1, August 2003, Maria de Alvear World Edition, Cologne, p. 22-27.
"For Trisha: A collaboration tale," in Hendel Teicher (ed.), Trisha Brown: Dance and Art in Dialogue 1961-2001, for Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy, Andover. MIT Press, Cambridge, 2002
"Reflections of an American Composer in the Late Twentieth Century" (excerpt from The New Common Practice), Open Space Magazine, issue 3, Spring 2001, p. 264-67
"The Twentieth Century: Program notes ," Open Space Magazine, issue 3, Spring 2001, p. 268-70
Endangered Species solo performance, program notes, Open Space Magazine, issue 3, Spring 2001, p. 271
"South of Margaret" (partial), in souvenir booklet for the 30th anniversary season of the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, 2003.
"ONOFFABOUTUNDERAROUNDCAGE," in David W. Bernstein and Christopher Hatch, editors, Writings through John Cage's Music, Poetry, and Art. University of Chicago Press, 2000, p. 177-179.
"Out Of Place," Positionen, issue 42 ("Orte"), February 2000.
"Last thoughts on soup: A recipe," in Maria de Alvear, ed., The New Generation of Mystery: Artists of the 21st Century, World Edition, Cologne, 2000, p. 54. Previously published in Italian as "Ultimi pensieri sulla minestra-una ricetta," Almanacco Musica 2, Bertoncelli/Bolelli, Il Formichiere, Milano, 1979, p.21 and "Thoughts on Soup—A Recipe" in The Drama Review 14, no. 1 (Fall 1969): 97.
"Improvisationspraxis der Musica Elettronica Viva" ("From the bottom of the soundpool"), MusikTexte No. 86/87 – November 2000.
"Della Musica Spontanea" ("On spontaneous music"), Oltre il Silenzio year 2 issue 2, Rome, October 1996.
"Caged Notes" (Radio Broadcast for Audiobox, RAI, December 1993), partial Italian text in Oltre il Silenzio issue 0, Rome, July 1995, p. 1; complete text in Oltre il Silenzio year 1 issue 1, Rome, December 1995, p. 43-47.
"MEV: Note Sulla Storia Di MEV," Centro D'Arte degli Studenti dell'Universita di Padova, 7 Marzo 1995.
Himmel und Hölle: "Die neue allgemeine Praxis" ("The New Common Practice"), MusikTexte No.53, MusikTexte, Koln, March 1994, p.35-38.
"Joan Jonas: A statement," Joan Jonas Retrospective Exhibition Catalogue, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, May 1994.
"When my feet felt the path that my eyes could not see" p.40-47 and "Crystal Psalms: Structure Base" p.50 (scores), MusikTexte No.53, MusikTexte, Koln, March 1994.
"List of Major Works 1966-1994" p.53, MusikTexte No.53, MusikTexte, Koln, March 1994.
"Music From the Center of the Earth: Three Large-Scale Sound Installations," Leonardo Music Journal Vol. 4, San Francisco, 1994; p.1-8. Also published, in English and German, in the catalogue Zeitgleich: The Symposium, The Seminar, The Exhibition, Triton, Vienna, 1994, p. 41-52.
"His Hymn"(score), Schnebel 60, Wolke, Berlin, 1990; p.292.
"Alvin Curran says," Ars Electronica Catalogue, Gutenburg, Linz, 1989.
"Maritime Rites - The Lake," in Stuart Saunders Smith and Thomas DeLio, eds., Words and Spaces: An Anthology of Twentieth Century Musical Experiments in Language and Sonic Environments, University Press of America, 1989; pp.183-196.
"Lachen oder verschwinden" (on Giacinto Scelsi), MusikTexte no.26, MusikTexte, Koln, October 1988; p.23-24.
"Kid" (on Molton Feldman), MusikTexte no. 22, MusikTexte, Koln, December 1987.
"Waterworks" (program notes), Ars Electronica, Gutenberg, Linz, 1987; p.148.
"For Cornelius" (score), MusikTexte No.6, MusikTexte, Koln, October 1984; p. 39.
"Maritime Rites," EAR Magazine Vol. 2 No. 7, The New Wilderness Foundation, New York, February/March 1982; p. 11.
"Monumenti" (program notes), Frankfurt Feste, 1982.
"For Cornelius" (score of Part 1 and 2 first version, unrevised), Soundings No.12, Soundings Press, Santa Fe, 1982; p.13, 14.
Maritime Rites (descriptive book designed by Melissa Gould), Le Parole Gelate, Rome, 1984. Reprinted in part, in English and Italian, in Sonorità Prospettiche (catalogue), Rimini, 1982, pp. 38-39.
Scores: An Anthology of New Music, Roger Johnson, ed., New York, Schirmer Books, Macmillan Publishing Co., 1981
"MEV, Soup, and History," Musics No. 23, Spider Web, London, November 1979; p.14-15.
"Music/Context Seminar," Musics No. 20, Spider Web, London, December 1978; p.20-27.
"About Giacinto Scelsi," Muzicki biennale, Zagreb 8-14.5.1977; Intl. Festival of Contemporary Music, Eva Sedak (editor), 1977.
"Multiple reflections on Musics 15," Musics No. 16, Islington Community Press, London, February 1978, p.3.
"Correspondence," Musics No. 18, Islington Community Press, London, July 1978; p.6.
"Music For Every Occasion" (selected scores), Pieces, no. 3, Michael Byron, Ontario, 1977; p.92-109.
"A guided tour through 12 years of American music in Rome," Soundings No. 10, Soundings Press, Santa Fe, 1976.
on films made with Annabella Miscuglio: Canti Illuminati and Ritratti, in dimensione super8, quaderni del filmstudio No. 2, Rome, December 1975, pp. 142-144.
"Magic Carpet: a sound installation by Paul Klerr and Alvin Curran," article plus record, Source: music of the avant garde No.9, Composer/Performer Editions, Sacramento, 1971; p.45.
"Selections from Music For Every Occasion" (scores), in The Scratch Anthology, Cornelius Cardew, Ed., London, 1969, distr. by Experimental Music Catalogue, London, 1971..
"Musica Elettronica Viva-Words...," Source: music of the avant garde No. 3, Composer/Performer Editions, Davis, Ca., January 1968; p.24-27.
"Homemade" (score), Source: music of the avant garde No.2, Composer/Performer Editions, Davis, Ca., July 1967; p.18-41.
Still Life with Music, Edith Schloss
Enzo Boddi, "Alvin Curran," Musica Jazz issue 747, February 2013, pp. 40-43
Zoe K. Hitzig, "Portrait of an Artist: Alvin Curran. Experimental composer Alvin Curran discusses the ’60s, classical music, and unpopular art,"The Harvard Crimson, March 6, 2012
Matthew Guerrieri, "New England’s Prospect: Alma Mater Studiorum," March 5, 2012
Simone Carella and Areta Gambaro, Painted Songs, video on the occasion of the Edith Schloss/Alvin Curran show, January 2012
David Sanson, "La magie et la joie," interview in French, November 1, 2011
Joan LaBarbara, "Songs of love and remembrance," part of the liner notes for Alvin Curran Solo Works: The '70s CD set, New World Records, 2010
Bruce Brubaker, "Time is time: Temporal signification in music," in Darla Crispin, ed., Unfolding Time: Studies in Temporality in Twentieth Century Music. Leuven University Press, 2009.
Daniela Tortora, ed., Alvin Curran: Live in Roma, Bilingual text, in English and Italian. Authors: David Bernstein, Alvin Curran, Eleonora Ludovici, Daniela Tortora. Die Schachtel, Milan, 2010.
Theo Eshetu, Alvin Curran: Living Room Music, a film on the making of the radio piece for Deutschlandradio Kultur, 2010
Antonio Trimani, "Conversazione con Alvin Curran: Il 'Dott. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde' della musica contemporanea," le arti del suono, #2 - istallazioni sonore e altri ascolti, 2009, pp. 159-174
Francesco Fonassi, "I Teatri dell'ascolto: Attraverso Alvin Curran" ["The Theaters of the Ear: As Per Alvin Curran"], thesis for three-year Laurea in painting, Venice Academy of Fine Arts, 2009; advisor Prof. Nicola Cisternino
Stephan Froleyk, "Alvin Curran: Gardening with John," in Ron Manheim, Bettina Paust, Stephan Froleyks (eds.), Im Auge des Klangs - The Eye of Sound, Museum Schloss Moyland, 2007, p. 60-65
Paolo Aita, "Alvin Curran: Il Volto Cortese dell'Avanguardia," Suono, February 2007, p. 116
"Alvin Curran," in Achille Bonito Oliva, Le Opere e i Giorni, Skira, Milan, 2006, pp. 404-405
Eleonora Ludovici, "Itinerari americani a Roma [American itineraries in Rome]: Alvin Curran 1964-1980," doctoral thesis, School of Humanistic Sciences of "La Sapienza" University of Rome, 2005; advisor Prof. Daniela Tortora
Mario Gamba, "Alvin Curran Infinito," Il Manifesto (Alias), 7 May 2005 (full text)
Pierre-Yves Macé, "Alvin Curran: Espèces d’espaces," Mouvement: Trimestriel National June 2005 (full text)
Phil England, "Mass Ornaments," The Wire November 2004 pp. 32-37 (the unedited interview) - (its text)
David Toop, essay on Alvin Curran as part of the liner notes for Maritime Rites, New World Records, 2004 (full text)
Nicola Sani, "Cercando Achille: Appunti su A.B.O. Ritratto Sonoro di Alvin Curran," in Achille Bonito Oliva, Lezione di Boxe, Luca Sossella Editore, Rome, 2004 (full text)
Frank J. Oteri, "Waking Up to Alvin Curran." Wednesday, November 26, 2003. A Conversation with Frank J. Oteri at the American Music Center. Complete transcription of the one-hour interview, plus excerpts in audio and video.
Giovanni Cordoni, "Alvin Curran," in Radio, Peppino Ortoleva and Barbara Scaramucci, eds., Garzanti (Le Garzantine series), Milano, 2003, p. 225 (in Italian)
Oral History of American Music, Yale University, interview archived in the Major Figures of American Music series (2000)
"Alvin Curran," in The New Generation of Mystery: Artists of the 21st Century , Maria de Alvear, ed., 2000, pp. 54-55
Pinotto Fava, "Verso una teoria della prassi: Audiobox tracce di un percorso controverso" (full text in Italian); "Towards a theory of praxis. Audiobox: traces of a controversial path" (full text in English); 1998
Sabine Feisst, "Der Begriff 'Improvisation' in der neuen Music" (includes portions of "On Spontaneous Music"). Sinzig: Studio, Verlag Schewe, l997 (Berliner Musik Studien; Bd. 14).
Peter Monaghan, “An idiosyncratic composer explores the sonic mystery of the world,” The Chronicle of Higher Education vol. 42 no. 32, April 19, 1996, p.B5
Sabine Breitsameter, "Spontane Improvisation. Alvin Curran – Ein Porträt," MusikTexte No.53, MusikTexte, Koln, March 1994, p.31-34
David W. Bernstein, "Zur harmonischen sprache von Alvin Curran," MusikTexte No.53, MusikTexte, Koln, March 1994, p.39-40
Stephen Lowy, "Vom Nebelhorn zum Schofar: Gedanken zu den neueren Jagdgründen von Alvin Curran," MusikTexte No.53, MusikTexte, Koln, March 1994, p.48-52
R.C. Paul, "Improvisation in Twentieth-Century Solo Piano Repertoire," DMA dissertation, U. of Miami, 1993
Joan Logue, "5 Composers: 5 Countries" (video, 40 min.), 1989. Electronic Arts Intermix
PrixItalia catalogue, "Crystal Psalms," RAI, Radio Televisione Italiana, Spaziostampa snc, November 1989
Brooke Wentz, "A Sound Environment," interview with Alvin Curran, EAR: Magazine of New Music, Vol. 14 No. 7, New York, October 1989; p. 41-45
Matthias Osterwold, "Maritime Riten, Konzerte mit Schiffshornern, Wassermusiken von Alvin Curran" ("Komponieren heute" series), article on "Waterworks" Ars Electronica, Neue Zeitschrift fur Musik, 2/1988, p. 18-22
Juan Blin, Laudatio in honor of Alvin Curran (unpublished). Ars Acustica Int'l. Prize sponsored by the Westdeutscher Rundfunk (Studio Akustische Kunst), 1988
"Walkman Berlin 1986. Ein Radio-Art-Spaziergang." In: Sprache und Musik. Inventionen `86. Sprachen der Künste III. Elektroakustische und instrumentale Musik, Film und Performance. Klaus Ebbeke (ed.), Akademie der Künste, Berlin, 1986, pp. 131-133.
Gaetano and Tomangelo Cappelli, "Alvin Curran," in Minimal, Trance Music e Elettronica Incolta, Concerto, Union Printing, Viterbo, 1982, p. 61-66
Fabio Malagnini, Uno chef che si nutre di suoni, L’Unità, February 12, 1981
Rodolfo di Giammarco, on Riti Marittimi, in Musica nella Città (catalogue), Savelli Editori, 1981, pp. 39-41
Alberto Dentice, "Balena Blues," L’Espresso, July 27, 1980
Bonnie Barnett, "Alvin Curran," EAR Magazine Vol. 8 No. 1, The New Wilderness Foundation, New York, January-February 1980; p. 3-4,9
Annabella Miscuglio, Canti Illuminati I and II (documentary films), 1975; Super 8, color, 13' and 13'
"Alvin Curran," Ciao 2001, April 14, 1974
Alfredo Leonardi, Organum Multiplum (film about Musica Elettronica Viva, with Vittorio Gelmetti and Mario Chiari), 1967; 16mm, black and white, 17'
Some other texts that discuss Curran's music: Denise Von Glahn, Music and the Skillful Listener: American Women Compose the Natural World, Indiana University Press, 2013; Louise Elizabeth Chernosky, Voices of American Musical Experimentalism on National Public Radio: Radio Net, RadioVisions, and Maritime Rites, PhD dissertation, Columbia University, 2012; Emanuele Arciuli, Musica per pianoforte negli Stati Uniti: Autori, opere, storia, EDT srl, 2010; Peter Kiefer, Klangkunst, 2010; David Stubbs, Fear of Music: Why People Get Rothko But Don't Get Stockhausen, O Books, 2009; Florian Mattil Betreuer, Aspekte einer performativen Ästhetik in der Neuen Musik, dissertation, Folkwang-Hochschule Essen, 2008 (discussing Oh Brass on the Grass Alas); Thom Holmes, Electronic and Experimental Music, Routledge, 2008; Frederic Rzewski, Nonsequiturs, MusikTexte, 2007; Amy C. Beal, New Music, New Allies, University of California Press, 2006; Jason Weiss, Steve Lacy: Conversations, Duke University Press, 2006; Joseph Franklin, Settling Scores: A Life in the Margins of American Music, Sunstone Press, 2006; Hannes Leopoldseder, Christine Schöpf, and Gerfried Stocker, Ars Electronica 1979-2004, 2005; Nicholas Cook and Anthony Pople (eds.), The Cambridge History of Twentieth-Century Music, Cambridge University Press, 2004; Anna Dolfi and Ruggero Jacobbi, L'eclettico Jacobbi. Percorsi multipli tra letteratura e teatro, 2003; Andreas Stuhlmann, Radio-Kultur und Hör-Kunst: Zwischen Avantgarde und Popularkultur 1923-2001, 2001; Vladimir Bogdanov, Chris Woodstra, Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide: The Experts Guide to the Best Recordings, Backbeat Books, 2001; David Cope, New Directions in Music, Waveland Press, 2001; Grove Music Online, 2000; Helga de la Motte-Haber (ed.) Klangkunst: Tönende Objekte und Klangende Räume. Handbuch der Musik im 20s Jahrhundert Band 12, Laaber Verlag, Germany, 1999; Michael Nyman, Experimental Music: Cage and Beyond, Cambridge University Press, 1999 (second edition); Howard Junker, Lucky Break: How I Became a Writer, 1999; Gardner Read, Pictographic Score Notation, Greenwood Publishing Group, 1998; Joel Chadabe, Electric Sound: The Past and Promise of Electronic Music, Prentice Hall, 1997; Roberto Valentino and Raffaello Carabini, Musica Elettronica II, Monografia di New Age Music and New Sounds, 1996; David Toop, Ocean of Sound: Aether Talk, Ambient Sound and Imaginary Worlds, Serpent's Tail, London, 1995; Andrew Jones, Plunderphonics, Pataphysics & Pop Mechanics: An Introduction to Musique Actuelle, SAF Publishing Ltd., 1995; Leigh Landy, Experimental Music Notebooks, 1994; Edward Halsey Foster, Postmodern Poetry: The Talisman Interviews, Talisman, 1994; Nicholas Slonimsky, Music Since 1900, Maxwell Macmillan International, 1994; Elliott Schwartz and Daniel Godfrey, Music Since 1945: Issues, Materials, and Literature, Schirmer Books, New York 1993; Norman Lebrecht, The Companion to 20th Century Music, Simon & Schuster, 1992; Leigh Landy, What's the Matter With Today's Experimental Music?: Organized Sound Too Rarely Heard, Routledge (UK), 1991; Piero Scaruffi, Guida all'avanguardia e alla New Age, Arcana, Milan,1991; John Litweiler, The Freedom Principle: Jazz After 1958, Da Capo Press, 1990; Tom Johnson, The Voice of New Music: New York City, 1972-1982, Apollohuis, 1989; Stanley Sadie, The New Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments, Grove's Dictionaries of Music, 1984; Stephen Vincent, Ellen Zweig, The Poetry Reading: A Contemporary Compendium on Language & Performance, Momo's Press, 1981; Robert and Celia Dearling, The Guinness Book of Music Facts and Feats, Guinness Superlatives, 1979; Maurice Hinson, Guide to the Pianist's Repertoire: Supplement, 1979.
...and for links to selected reviews, check out the Discography page.