George E. Lewis

  • Benjamin Patterson, Paper Piece, 1960. Performance view, Hypokriterion Theater, Amsterdam, June 23, 1963.

    Benjamin Patterson

    THE COMPOSER, performer, and visual artist Benjamin Patterson was one of the founding figures of Fluxus, the massively interdisciplinary international art movement that emerged in the early 1960s, encompassing music, text-sound, sculpture, video, Conceptual art, and what later came to be known as performance art. Another cofounder, the artist and entrepreneur George Maciunas, drew the name from a standard dictionary definition for flux: “any substance or mixture . . . used to promote fusion,” or “an excessive discharge, from the bowels or other part.”1

    Patterson was a classically trained

  • Pierre Boulez

    THE FRENCH COMPOSER, conductor, and writer Pierre Boulez was one of the signal figures in postwar contemporary music. His work first came to prominence in the 1950s, a decade described by musicologist Joseph Auner as “the era of all-encompassing theories that sought to explain human actions in terms of systems.”1 By that time, for many composers in both Europe and America, twelve-tone compositional techniques, first promulgated in the early ’20s by Arnold Schönberg and his students Alban Berg and Anton Webern, had become such a system. Boulez, Karlheinz Stockhausen in Germany, and Milton Babbitt

  • Karlheinz Stockhausen, Klang—4. Stunde: Himmels-Tür (Sound—Fourth Hour: Heaven’s Door), 2005. From Klang: Die 24 Stunden des Tages (Sound: The 24 Hours of the Day), 2004–2007. Performance view, Teatro Rossini, Lugo, Italy, June 13, 2006. Stuart Gerber. Photo: Alan Taquet.

    Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Klang

    BEGINNING ON MARCH 25, in celebration of the opening of the Met Breuer—the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s new satellite in the old Whitney Museum building on Madison Avenue—a complete performance of all twenty-one sections of Karlheinz Stockhausen’s unfinished cycle Klang (2004–2007) will be presented for the first time in the United States. This US premiere, undoubtedly one of the cultural highlights of the spring season in New York, will be performed over the course of two days, in three locations: the Met Breuer, the Met, and the Cloisters.

    When the German composer began writing this

  • “Jennie C. Jones: Higher Resonance”

    Upon entering Jennie C. Jones’s show at the Hirshhorn, visitors will hear Higher Resonance, 2013, a new sound piece to be piped into an immersive listening area circumscribed by a curved wall. Imbricating microsamples of recordings by black classical composers (Wendell Logan, Alvin Singleton) with those by composer-performers from creative music practice (Alice Coltrane, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Art Ensemble of Chicago), this piece foregrounds African American culture’s ongoing engagement with histories of the avant-garde and modernist abstraction. In the same room, Jones’s