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James Tenney

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 30, 2006 | Mark Swed, Times Staff Writer
Experimental composer James Tenney -- whose music consistently broke new ground through his fancy for startling sounds and his novel approaches to pitch, harmony and form -- died Aug. 24 in Valencia. He was 72 and the cause of death, according to his wife, Lauren Pratt, was cancer. Tenney was as close to experimental music royalty as a modern composer could get, having studied or worked with a host of famed American mavericks, including Harry Partch, Edgard Varese, Carl Ruggles and John Cage.
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ENTERTAINMENT
December 12, 2006 | Mark Swed, Times Staff Writer
In 1952, Stan Brakhage made his first film at 19. The music for "Interim" was by his friend from high school in Denver, James Tenney, a year younger. A boy and girl meet under a city viaduct. It rains. They kiss passionately in a deserted shack. They part. The mood is pretentiously portentous. But a simple, pastoral, Satie-esque piano soundtrack give it a special glow, as if the piano alone could light the film from behind.
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ENTERTAINMENT
February 26, 1996 | MARK SWED, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Every profession, if it's lucky, has its James Tenney: A rough-hewn innovator who is a legend to the field's most sophisticated devotees but generally unknown outside that inner circle. Composer and conductor Tenney--who will make a rare appearance tonight, in the Green Umbrella series at the Japan America Theatre--falls squarely within the tradition of American musical pioneers. He follows in the footsteps of Charles Ives, Harry Partch and John Cage, and he looks the part perfectly.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 30, 2006 | Mark Swed, Times Staff Writer
Experimental composer James Tenney -- whose music consistently broke new ground through his fancy for startling sounds and his novel approaches to pitch, harmony and form -- died Aug. 24 in Valencia. He was 72 and the cause of death, according to his wife, Lauren Pratt, was cancer. Tenney was as close to experimental music royalty as a modern composer could get, having studied or worked with a host of famed American mavericks, including Harry Partch, Edgard Varese, Carl Ruggles and John Cage.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 28, 1996 | JOSEF WOODARD, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Normally, the L.A. Philharmonic's Green Umbrella series operates with no stronger thematic imperative than its new music focus. Monday night at the Japan America Theatre, however, the CalArts New Century Players' boldly performed program revealed something of a connective thread for the series.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 13, 2004 | Josef Woodard, Special to The Times
Composer James Tenney has claimed that he tries to avoid emotionality in his music, preferring to explore diverse experimental ideas. Yet on the evidence of the career-spanning "James Tenney at 70" concert Thursday night at REDCAT, dodging emotion is one goal he hasn't entirely attained. A certain austerity hovers over his work, but the results are never served cold. Currently the music department chair at CalArts, Tenney has long been involved in avoiding the usual.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 12, 2006 | Mark Swed, Times Staff Writer
In 1952, Stan Brakhage made his first film at 19. The music for "Interim" was by his friend from high school in Denver, James Tenney, a year younger. A boy and girl meet under a city viaduct. It rains. They kiss passionately in a deserted shack. They part. The mood is pretentiously portentous. But a simple, pastoral, Satie-esque piano soundtrack give it a special glow, as if the piano alone could light the film from behind.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 23, 2002 | MARK SWED
On a spring evening in 1951, a budding 16-year-old pianist with an interest in engineering went to hear John Cage play one of his most famous pieces, the "Sonatas and Interludes" for prepared piano, at the Women's Club Auditorium in Denver. "The concert blew me away," James Tenney says, seated at a prepared piano in his studio at CalArts, as he demonstrates the exquisite clinks, plinks and thuds that Cage produced by wedging bolts or bits of rubber or plastic between the strings of the piano.
NEWS
June 27, 2002 | Kathy Bryant
On Thursday at 7 p.m., John Fidler, head of building conservation and research at English Heritage, UK, will speak at the Getty Center in Brentwood on "England's Green and Pleasant Land: Recent Experiments to Link Building Conservation With the Wider Field of Environmental Sustainability." Free, but reservations are required: (310) 440-7300 or www.getty.edu/conserva tion/activities. On Friday at 7:30 p.m.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 1, 2001
What's happening the next few weeks: * The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art presents "Custom Built: A Twenty-Year Survey of Work by Allan Wexler," a chronicle of Wexler's work as an architect, sculptor and furniture-maker, from March 30-June 24. 151 3rd St. (415) 357-4000. * The West Coast premiere of Richard Nelson's "Goodnight Children Everywhere," winner of the Olivier Award for best new play, continues through March 18 at the American Conservatory Theater, 415 Geary St. (415) 749-2ACT.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 13, 2004 | Josef Woodard, Special to The Times
Composer James Tenney has claimed that he tries to avoid emotionality in his music, preferring to explore diverse experimental ideas. Yet on the evidence of the career-spanning "James Tenney at 70" concert Thursday night at REDCAT, dodging emotion is one goal he hasn't entirely attained. A certain austerity hovers over his work, but the results are never served cold. Currently the music department chair at CalArts, Tenney has long been involved in avoiding the usual.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 23, 2002 | MARK SWED
On a spring evening in 1951, a budding 16-year-old pianist with an interest in engineering went to hear John Cage play one of his most famous pieces, the "Sonatas and Interludes" for prepared piano, at the Women's Club Auditorium in Denver. "The concert blew me away," James Tenney says, seated at a prepared piano in his studio at CalArts, as he demonstrates the exquisite clinks, plinks and thuds that Cage produced by wedging bolts or bits of rubber or plastic between the strings of the piano.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 28, 1996 | JOSEF WOODARD, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Normally, the L.A. Philharmonic's Green Umbrella series operates with no stronger thematic imperative than its new music focus. Monday night at the Japan America Theatre, however, the CalArts New Century Players' boldly performed program revealed something of a connective thread for the series.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 26, 1996 | MARK SWED, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Every profession, if it's lucky, has its James Tenney: A rough-hewn innovator who is a legend to the field's most sophisticated devotees but generally unknown outside that inner circle. Composer and conductor Tenney--who will make a rare appearance tonight, in the Green Umbrella series at the Japan America Theatre--falls squarely within the tradition of American musical pioneers. He follows in the footsteps of Charles Ives, Harry Partch and John Cage, and he looks the part perfectly.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 22, 1993 | KEVIN THOMAS
Filmforum presents tonight at 8 at the Hollywood Moguls, 1650 N. Hudson, Barbara Rubin's 29-minute "Christmas on Earth" (1963), Carolee Schneeman's 22-minute "Fuses" (1967) and Storm De Hirsch's 10-minute "Third Eye Butterfly" (1968). The first two are landmark experimental films by women filmmakers in a candid yet lyrical depiction of lovemaking. Both attest to how durable the best of '60s underground filmmaking really is.
NEWS
December 20, 2001 | JOSEF WOODARD, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
It's been a good year in the Southland for experimental music at the Schindler House--a.k.a. the MAK Center--in West Hollywood. The center has increased its commitment to such performances, including last summer's outdoor "sound" concert series. On Tuesday, the action, minimal and coolly conceptual such as it was, moved indoors for a short yet provocative concert, presented in conjunction with Villa Aurora.
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