Wednesday 14 October 2015, 4.00PM
Speaker(s): Professor William Brooks (University of York)
At the turn of the twentieth century, William Butler Yeats was embarked on a project to create a new method for declaiming his texts. Over the past five years I’ve been following in his footsteps, developing reconstructions, reapplications, and extensions of his practice. (Possibly this is good instance of practice-led research—you decide.) In any case this seminar will provide an overview of the results thus far. Some compositional underwear will be revealed (or removed); leave the children at home.
William Brooks studied music and mathematics at Wesleyan University (BA 1965), then received degrees in musicology (MM 1971) and composition-theory (DMA 1976) from the University of Illinois. Among his teachers were Charles Hamm in musicology and Ben Johnston, Kenneth Gaburo and Herbert Brün. He has been associated with John Cage as both performer and scholar; he played in the world premiere of HPSCHD and has several times directed productions of Cage’s Song Books. Brooks taught at the University of Illinois (1969-73) and at the University of California (1973-7), then worked as a freelance composer, scholar and performer before returning to the University of Illinois (1987). There he was Associate Professor of Composition, director of the Contemporary Chamber Singers, and Chair of the Composition-Theory Division for many years. In 2000 he took up his present post at the University of York.