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.

This composer, conductor and teacher began in musical Composition at a relatively late age (24), choosing to express her creativity in a provocative style, diverse, ironic and entertaining at the same time. Her musical education was intensively developed as an orchestra bassist at the Eastman School of Music, and at CalArts, specializing in Composition at the University of California, Santa Barbara, tutored by such prestigious professors as Edward Applebaum, Mel Powell, Joseph Schwantner, Emma Lou Diemer, and Buell Neidlinger.

Her works are of an experimental character, basically dealing with multimedia settings, and she frequently includes references to controversial and political issues, as for instance AIDS ("Not a Witness", in memory of an old childhood friend who died of this illness), feminism ("She Who"), the close relationship between madness and the creative mind ("Sciamachy"), besides having composed a number of works based on the Clarence Thomas Confirmation Hearings ("I Have a Nightmare"), and a "Concerto for Woodblock and Politically Correct Tape". Her works have been performed, among other prestigious institutions, by the Stockholm's Kammarensemblen, the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Synchrony, the Anacapa String Quartet, Trio Contraste, etc. She has an exclusive contract with Carl Fischer , Inc., to publish her works, even though Arsis Press from Washington DC published her "Sonata for Clarinet and Piano", this also having been recorded by the CRS. Klavier Records are to release her arrangements for a wind ensemble of her work "Early Light" by late 1997, performed by the University of North Texas Symphonic Winds. Bremer has participated with her music in several festivals, among them the 1995 UN Conference on Women's Rights in Beijing, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Bloomingdale House of Music Mostly Women Composers Concerts in New York City, Bowling Green New Music and Art Festival, the International Congress on Women in Music in Vienna, The International Interdisciplinary Conference on Women in Adelaide, and MusicAlaskaWomen Festival. Carolyn Bremer has likewise been awarded different grants and prizes from several institutions, among them those of Meet The Composer, The Regents of the University of California, and the UC Intercampus Arts Council, as well as the AAUW Recognition Awardee for Emerging Scholars. Currently holding a post at the Sandra and Brian O'Brien Presidential Professor in Music in the University of Oklahoma, she is head of the Department of Composition and conductor of the "New Century Ensembles".

Jane Brockman is a woman composer, some of whose works have likewise appeared in the label Opus One, among which we can mention "Kurzweil Etudes", a work composed with her digital synthesizer Kurzweil. These etudes contain great piano passages with which the author has used a sampler. This work has an underlying scholarly style, despite its electronic manipulation, pervading it in a subtle way, occasionally pointing at its primordial quality, from the concrete to the abstract. Together with George Todd she also releases her "Music For Kurzweil & Synclavier". In both cases, Brockman's musical ideas would likewise work both with a piano and a conventional orchestra, yet the use this composer makes of the new electronic contemporary technologies, with her perfect control of electronic keyboards, opens a new universe of sonic possibilities, moving among a repertoire of traditional concert and concrete music with unsurpassed mastery. Brockman takes all the advantage she can of electronic keyboards, and has nothing to envy from conventional ones.

The artistic director and composer for the performance arts group "Schwa", Burns also is a member of several worldwide famous associations, such as the Pi Kappa Lambda, the Broadcast Music, Inc., the Society of Composers, Inc., the International Alliance for Women in Music (IAWM), SEAMUS (Society of Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States), and the International Computer Music Association.

Kristine Burns has developed an important pedagogical task, spending three years at the TIMARA (Technology in Music and Related Arts) Departament of the Oberlin Conservatory, and later at the Music Department of the Dartmouth College. Having doctorated in Music, namely in Composition, under such prestigious professors as David Foley, Ernesto Pellegrini, Donald Keats, Cleve L. Scott and Morton Subotnick, Kristine Burns has specialized in intermedia compositions, as well as in theatrical plays utilizing extended vocal techniques. The composer has performed in the United States and Europe, participating in several events, among them the Ninth International Congress of Women in Music (Vienna); the FUTURA Festival (Drome, France); SEAMUS National Conferences; SCI National and Regional Conferences, as well as Festivals and Concert Series held at various universities, like for instance Bowling Green State University, Clark University, California State University at Los Angeles, and Ball State University. Furthermore, Kristine has developed several systems for the interactive composition/performance in the programming environments Max, Director, and Interactor. Also, the artist owns and publishes a new web called WOW'EM, Women On the Web--ElectronMedia, devoted to young women, and most specially aimed at junior and senior high school girl students interested in the interactive arts in music or the visual arts, as well as the sciences, mathematics and computers.


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