Composer Curran gives 2012 Louis C. Elson Lecture Feb. 28

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Alvin Curran will bring his thoughts and experiences to Harvard as the Louis C. Elson Lecturer, and will talk about his uncommon music and life on Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 5:15 p.m. in John Knowles Paine Concert Hall on the Harvard University campus (Harvard Square Red Line T stop). Paine Hall is wheelchair accessible, and the lecture is free, no tickets required. See

Democratic, irreverent and traditionally experimental, Curran makes music for every occasion with any sounding phenomena — a volatile mix of lyricism and chaos, structure and indeterminacy, fog horns, fiddles, and fiddle heads. He is dedicated to the restoration of dignity to the profession of making non-commercial music.

Early in his career, composer Curran co-founded the radical music collective MUSICA ELETTRONICA VIVA, and composed for Rome’s avant garde theater scene. In the 70s, he created a poetic series of solo works for synthesizer, voice, taped sounds and found objects. Seeking to develop new musical spaces—and considered one of the leading figures in making music outside of the concert halls—he developed a series of concerts for lakes, ports, parks, buildings, quarries and caves. In the 1980s, Curran extended the ideas of musical geography by creating simultaneous radio concerts for three, then six, large ensembles performing together from many European capitals. He has also created a body of solo performance works and a series of sound installations, some of them in collaboration with visual artists including Paul Klerr, Melissa Gould, Kristin Jones, Pietro Fortuna, Umberto Bignardi, and Uli Sigg. Curran’s more than 150 works feature taped/sampled natural sounds, piano, synthesizers, computers, violin, percussion, shofar, ship horns, accordion and chorus.