Cover for MILLER: Composing a World: Lou Harrison, Musical Wayfarer. Click for larger image

Composing a World

Lou Harrison, Musical Wayfarer

An exploration of the life and works of one of America's most original composers

Since its original publication, Composing a World by Leta E. Miller and Fredric Lieberman has become the definitive work on the prolific California composer Lou Harrison, often cited as one of America's most original and influential figures. Composing a World presents a compelling and deeply human portrait of an exceptionally beloved pioneer in American music.

This paperback edition is an updated version of the highly acclaimed Lou Harrison: Composing a World. The product of extensive research, as well as seventy-five interviews with the composer and those associated with him over half a century, this new edition features an updated works catalog reflecting compositions completed after 1997, adds a brief description of the circumstances of Harrison's death, and corrects a few minor errors. It also includes an annotated works-list detailing more than 300 compositions and a CD featuring over 74 minutes of illustrative Harrison compositions, including several unique and previously unrecorded works.

Extending beyond simple biography, Composing a World includes chapters on music and dance, intonation and tuning, instrument building, music criticism, political activism, homosexuality, and Harrison's Asian influences, among other topics. This indispensable study of Harrison's life and works--currently out of print--will be welcomed back by performing artists, students, and scholars of American music.

Leta E. Miller is a Professor of Music at the University of California at Santa Cruz and editor of the MUSA volume Lou Harrison: Selected Keyboard and Chamber Music, 1937-1994. She is the author of the articles on Harrison in the most recent editions of the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians and Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart. Miller has published recent articles on Harrison, John Cage, and Henry Cowell, and has been featured as flute soloist on nearly 20 CDs, including music by Harrison and others. Fredric Lieberman, composer and ethnomusicologist, is Professor of Music at the University of California at Santa Cruz. He has published widely on Chinese, South Indian, and Himalayan music, co-authored three books with Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart, and carries out research and consultation on issues of music law.

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