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James Tenney

American composer James Tenney (1934 – 2006) saw artistic curiosity as the driving force behind his creative output. Tenney approaches music with the unperturbed glance of a researcher who is exploring how the realization of an idea might sound. His body of work is extensive and widely branched, yet has two distinct centres of gravity. In the 1960s, Tenney was one of the pioneers of computer music, and from the 1970s on he became interested in the possibilities offered by pure tuning. He frequently works with very simple, directly perceptible forms. Although his work is not as well known, Tenney, who had an intense exchange with many fellow composers – including Harry Partch, Edgar Varèse, John Cage and Conlon Nancarrow – was one of the most influential composers of his generation.

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