By: Montse Andreu

One would think that the so long fought for equality of the sexes should have reached the adequate levels with respect to the chances that women have to succeed in the field of alternative musics. This is not so. And nevertheless, there are women who have devoted part (or all) of their careers to electronic, experimental composition, who have a great deal of talent. The objective of this series is to make some of these names known to the interested readers.

Versatile American composer and synthesist Eve Beglarian is an artist specialized in the performance arts, whose works are mainly of a vocal and electronic nature, ranging from low tech to the most sophisticated of creations. Inspired in the music of earlier times, this artist elaborates and develops her creativity in a profound understanding of the multimedia arts, which has granted her a well deserved post in the field of the alternative arts in general.

Minimalist composer Barbara Benary makes a remarkable use of the theatrical forms derived from Asian music, as well as reflecting in her works the fascination she feels for the gamelan and the Balinese melodies.

Born in Montreal in 1949, she specializes in composition at the University Laval in 1976. From 1983 to 1986, she pursues studies on electroacoustics at McGill University, and doctorates in Composition at the Univerisity of Montreal in 1986. In 1974 she participates in the Prize Gilson with her radio work of mixed music "La Fugitive", and represents Canada at the Prize of Italy in 1976, as well as the O.R.T.F. Prix de Radio-France in 1978. Since 1976, Bertrand has composed over twenty works for soloist instruments and orchestra, favoring mixed music. Many of her pieces have been broadcast on different radio stations and also they have been programmed on various concert halls. The artist has collaborated with choreographer Pierre-Paul Savoie, in several occassions, among others, with her work "L'ombre d'un doute" (1992). She has also created the soundtrack for the video "Mythofemmes", by Dominique Banoun and Eve Langevin. Another of her works is "Collage Moliere" (1995). After getting a scholarship of the Council for the Fair Arts of the Quebec in 1995,  she gets to compose the music for a musical tragicomedy, "La boite vocale". She is affiliated to several institutions, among them Musiques itinerantes, Communaute Electroacoustique canadienne, Conseil de la culture des Laurentides, Association des femmes compositeures du Canada, SOCAN and SODRAC.

-ESSENTIAL WORKS: Musical Theatre and Multi-media: Bagne (1993). * Collage Moliere (1994). * Don Quichotte de la Tache (1989-1990). * Mythofemmes (1993). * L'Ombre d'un doute (1992). Orchestra: * Eclosion (1973). Orchestra with soloist instrument(s): * Mouvements (1979). Chamber: Coeur au poing (1982) for piano, ondes Martenot, and percussion. Piano: * Sonate (1973). Vocal: * La boite vocale: suite (1995). * La Fugitive (1974). Choral: Sursis (1986). * Une Sale Histoire (1991). Electroacoustic: * Antichambre (1987). * Le long sommeil de Frantz (1973). * Play Room (1984).

German composer Johanna Magdalena Beyer, born in Leipzig in 1880 and deceased in 1944, was one of the earliest pioneers in percussive and electronic music. Working as a secretary for Henry Cowell, she would die before attending the premiere of many of her works due to a cruel disease. Beyer's music can be considered as proto-minimalist in her peculiar style, as well as extraordinarily original in character.

Born in Barcelona (Spain) in 1944, Anna Bofill begins her musical studies in 1950, studying piano and musical theory with professor Jordi Albareda, and finishes this initial stage in 1959, at the Academia Caminals in Barcelona. In 1960 and 1961 she engages postgraduate studies with Xavier Monsalvatge and Josep Cercós, specializing in Musical Composition. From 1963 to 1971 she studies harmony, counterpoint and fugue tutored by professor J.M. Mestres Quadreny, collaborating with him until 1977 for her research studies on the development of musical structures in the history of music up to the modern conceptions of the application of the mathematical theory of probability in music. The artist has developed an innovative task in the field of electroacoustic music at the Laboratorio Phonos in Barcelona together with Gabriel Brncic, and later in the field of computer science applied to music with Xavier Serra, and has also attended several courses on composition tutored by L. Nono, J.M. Mestres Quadreny, J. Guinjoan and C. Aharonian at the I Jornadas de Nueva Música (I Symposium Of New Music) held in Sitges in 1982, as well as a course on Musical Composition directed by Luigi Nono at the Fundación Miró in Barcelona, in 1983. The composer also obtains a scholarship from CIRIT in 1985 to work at the Centre D'Etudes de Mathématique et Automates Musicales (CEMAMU) in Paris, directed by Iannis Xenakis. From this well known composer Anna Bofill translates his book "Musique et Architecture" into Catalan.

Besides her musical studies, Anna Bofill has studied Architecture at the Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura in Barcelona from 1964 to 1972, doctorating in 1974. From 1964 to 1981 she was a member of the Taller de Arquitectura Bofill, and she currently has her own studio.

The musical compositions created by Anna Bofill have been played in several Spanish cities, as well as at others outside Spain like Paris, Berlin, New York, Mexico, etc., and in festivals and conventions of New Music. The artist is a member of the "Associació Catalana de Compositors", the "Asociación Española de Música Electroacústica", the "International Computer Association", the "Asociación de Mujeres en la Música" and the "International Alliance for Women in Music". Among her compositions, which range from chamber orchestra to electroacoustic music, to instrumental, solo, voice and piano, etc., mention must be made of the following: Chamber Orchestra: "Esclat", for 9 instruments (1971). "Septet de set sous", for 7 instruments (1978). Instrumental music: "Quartet", for guitar, piano, spinet and percussion (1976). "Trio" for violin, piano and tape (1976). "Càntic antic" (Ancient Canticle), for piano and percussion (1994). "Variazioni su tre temi di Anna Bon di Venezia", for guitar, violin, and cello (1995). "Walk", for three guitars (1996). Solo: "Espai sonor", for percussion and tape. "Poema", for piano (1974). "Suite de Tamanrasset", for guitar (1978). "Suite for harpsichord" (1977). "En un Chassaigne fréres negre de mitja cúa" for piano (1983). "Studio per pianoforte" 1 and 3 (1992). Voice and piano: "Enigma", with text by A. Salvà (1981). "Mezquita", with text by M.C. Montagut (1984). Voice and guitar: "Cançó de Primavera", also with text by M.C. Montagut. Electroacoustic: "Punto y seguido" (1993). Other: "Urfaust", incidental music composed in collaboration with J.M. Berenguer, based on a text by Goethe (1983). "Fills d'un déu menor", incidental music based on a text by M. Medoff (1984).

Anna Bofill has participated in numerous events in the musical arena and has a number of publications, among which mention must be made of the elaboration of several articles and a dossier on women composers in the history of music, carried out in collaboration with M. Cinta Montagut, her participation in lectures, workshops and debates, her collaboration in symposia on women and music, the organization of courses on Music and Architecture, and her research in the musical field. Several of her scores can be found published by Editorial Clivis in collaboration with the "Associació Catalana de Compositors" (Catalan Association Of Composers).



Previous Page (Articles/News)