DRAM and Sound American Explore Five "Monophonic" Composers

Posted on Wednesday, July 30, 2014

DRAM's online music journal, Sound American, views the music of five very special and unique composers through the limited lense of their monophonic or single line music. Monophonic music is often thought of as being simply a historical remnant of early church music or the playground of minimalist composition for solo instruments, but many contemporary composers have made some of their most personal and powerfully creative statements by putting one single note after another.

Besides DRAM composers Eastman, Beuger, Lacy, and Johnson, the issue features the French spectralist Gerard Grisey and four great saxophonists tackling solo saxophone versions of the timeless "Body and Soul" in homage to Coleman Hawkins, the first great jazz monophonic artist.

Each composer is written about by someone in the field who has intimate knowledge of their music; exploring, through different voices, the depths of their monophonic work. As a counterbalance, SA editor Nate Wooley interviews a musician hearing the composer's work for the first time. The differences and similarities in perception provides an unique insight into not only the music presented, but the way we perceive and come to understand composition.