Pitt Presents George Lewis in Residence

Issue Date: 
February 15, 2016

Pioneering composer, musicologist, and trombonist George Lewis, renowned for his electronic music and computer-based multimedia installations, will be on the University of Pittsburgh campus Feb. 23 through 27 for George Lewis in Residence. The event is part of Pitt’s Year of the Humanities in the University.

Lewis’ work as a composer, improviser, and performer explores electronic and computer music and is documented on more than 140 recordings. He is the Edwin H. Case Professor of American Music and vice chair of the Department of Music at Columbia University, where he is the chair of the composition area committee. A recipient of a 2002 MacArthur Fellowship, he also is a 2015 Guggenheim Fellow and 2015 Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Lewis developed an interactive computer music system called Voyager that analyzes a musician’s improvisation in real time and then generates complex responses to the musician’s performance as well as Voyager’s own independent sounds. 

George Lewis in Residence Week events follow.

6 p.m. Feb. 23, Frick Fine Arts Auditorium, “Sounding New Socialities”

A free, public panel discussion with participants including Lewis as well as Pitt and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) professors. Representing Pitt will be Aaron Johnson, assistant professor of music; Eric Moe, the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Music; Mathew Rosenblum, professor of music; and Kathleen Blee, Distinguished Professor of Sociology. Participating from CMU will be Roger Dannenberg, professor of computer science, art, and music; and Ali Momeni, associate professor of art.

7:30 p.m. Feb. 25, Frick Fine Arts Auditorium, “A Power Stronger Than Itself”

In this free public lecture, Lewis will discuss the importance and history of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, which he joined as a teenager in 1971. Lewis is the author of A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music (University of Chicago Press, 2008). A book signing will follow the lecture.

8 p.m. Feb. 26, Bellefield Hall Auditorium, “Spooky Interaction”

This free live performance features George Lewis, trombone; Nicole Mitchell, flute; Michael Dessen, trombone; Francis Wong, saxophone; Pitt Jazz Studies Program Director Geri Allen, piano; and George Lewis’ Voyager interactive music-performance software. The musicians will connect through the Internet2 network in collaboration with the University of California Irvine, and SFJAZZ through the CENIC network.

8 p.m. Feb. 27, The Andy Warhol Museum, 117 Sandusky St., North Side,

“Music on the Edge: The Chamber Music of George Lewis”

This concert of Lewis’ chamber compositions will be performed by David Shively, percussion; Lindsey Goodman, flute; Dawn Posey, violin; Jonathan Golove, cello; and Eric Moe, piano, under the direction of Roger Zahab, director of the Symphony Orchestra at Pitt. Tickets for the concert, cosponsored by The Warhol, are available by visiting www.music.pitt.edu/tickets or calling 412-624-7529.

George Lewis in Residence is supported by the Pitt Humanities Center, Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences Faculty Research and Scholarship Program, the Department of Music, and Yamaha Pianos.