American composer William (Bill) Duckworth has passed away at the age of 69 from cancer. Duckworth was one of the first American composers, along with John Adams who absorbed the styles of "classic" minimalism to create post-minimalism, a style that borrowed the repetitive structures from the latter but also added a more intuitive and "romantic" approach to form and structure.
Duckworth, however, has never received the amount of attention that John Adams has. Maybe it's because Duckworth actually chose an academic career in music education over freelance composition. Maybe it's because Duckworth's compositions reveal a more intimate approach to scoring, length and scope when compared to the extroverted John Adams.. whatever the reason, we can still witness a composer who pioneered a distinctly American style of composition, while working in new genres such as Internet music, something he dedicated himself to in his last years.
If you're interested in what Duckworth's music has to offer, please check out the following links to pieces below.
Time Curve Preludes
Meeting a lot of people as I start my graduate program.. almost forgot what it was like to meet new people! A lot of exciting things happening already, including the arrival of the Tallis Scholars to U of T next weekend, and also a DMA composition recital that I'm looking forward to. What have I noticed most about U of T so far? The diversity among my colleagues. There are people interested in film, video game music, and people strictly interested in only composing concert music. There are hardline serialists and neo-romantics, and everything in between. People come from all over Canada and all over the world to study at U of T.. I'm excited to hear how people's culture and background pervades their composing style. Also looking forward to writing my own music and working with some great performers. Stay tuned for some events with my music!
Tyler Versluis is a composer and pianist.