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Keyboard Performances 1983-89


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Born in San Antonio, Texas, in 1945, “Blue” Gene Tyranny has composed and, as a keyboardist, performed avant-garde music for the past 30 years. He has composed over 60 works for various ensembles of electronic and acoustic instruments and voices, pieces which develop new forms for imporvisation and express themes of mysterious social and natural phenomena.

He has lived a decade in each of four corners of the U.S.A. During the late ‘50s he organized new music festivals in Texas with composer Philip Krumm. In the ‘60s he performed with the legendary ONCE Group in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and toured with many jazz and rock groups throughout the ‘60s and ‘70s. From 1971 to 1982, he taught recording studio techniques and music theory at Mills College, and worked at The Center for Contemporary Music, a public-access non-profit facility located in Oakland, California. He currently lives in Long Island City, New York.

Tyranny has produced, recorded and performed on many albums of other composers’ music (most recent to this recording was on Laurie Anderson’s Strange Angels), published articles on contemporary music and composed over 40 soundtracks for film and video productions. He continues to collaborate on video works with artists Kenn Beckman and Kit Fitzgerald.

Tyranny has collaborated with composers Robert Ashley and Peter Gordon for many years, composing the harmonies and piano improvisations for Ashley’s opera for television Perfect Lives, and playing keyboards with Peter Gordon’s ensemble and on his recordings.

His many theater and dance collaborations include works with the Otrabanda Company, the Talking Band, Pat Oleszko, and dancers Timothy Buckley and Rocky Bornstein.

Recent works include the Nocturne With and Without Memory for one or three pianos, commissioned by Lois Svard (LCD 3051), and The Forecaster for double orchestra, decoding chorus, time-transposing keyboardist and solo response voice. Tyranny wrote text and music for an opera commissioned for the Electrical Matter, an electronic arts festival in Philadelphia for Benjamin Franklin’s bicentennial celebration in 1990.

“Blue” Gene Tyranny’s work is the subject of chapters in two books by Cole Gagne: Sonic Transports, published by deFalco Books and Soundpieces 2: Interviews with American Composers, published by Scarecrow Press; and William Duckworth’s book, Talking Music: Conversations with Five Generations of American Experimental Composers.

“Blue” Gene Tyranny’s recorded work can be found on Elektra-Nonesuch, Tellus, “Music from Mills,” and Fun Music, as well as on Lovely Music.

Five Takes on the Nocturne With and Without Memory was recorded by Gerald Oshita, at the New York Now Festival, produced by SUNY Programs in the Arts at the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York City, 6 October 1989.

The Country Boy Country Dog Intro is performed by Timothy Buckley, accordion, and recorded by Radio France at the Paris Biennale, Grande Halle de la Villette, Paris, for Zattera di Babele’s Rosenfest XXX, 30 March 1985.

The Intermediary Following Traces of the Song was recorded by Bob Bielecki at The Imaginary Landscapes Festival, The Kitchen Center, New York City, 5 March 1988.

The Intermediary with a Rendition of Stardust was recorded by Mario Conforti at Oggimusica Festival, Lugano, Switzerland, 21 October 1983. Computer analysis by Joel Ryan.

Sunrise or Sunset in Texas from music for Philip Makanna’s film “The Crack of Dawn” was recorded by Robert Shumaker at 1750 Arch Studio, Oakland CA, September 1983. Mixed at Public Access Synthesizer Studios, New York City, 8 November 1989.

Acoustic and electronic keyboards: “Blue” Gene Tyranny
Mixing and additional electronics: “Blue” Gene Tyranny
Mixing Engineer: Eric Liljestrand
Mixed at Cedar Studios, New York City, 13 November 1989
Digital Editing and Mastering: Allan Tucker, Foothill Productions, New York City

Cover Art: Cecilia Smith
Design: By Design

Compositions © 1983, 1984, 1988, 1989 by Robert Sheff (BMI)
©P 1990 Lovely Music, Ltd.