On January 1, 1970, I was in my sophomore year in high school in New York City. On December 31, 1979, I was living in San Francisco in an apartment I'd inherited from David Behrman. In between I spent 6 years at Wesleyan University, pursuing a BA and MA in Music, interrupted by a year traveling in Europe with a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship. My great discovery upon starting my studies with Alvin Lucier was the prose score -- as far as I was concerned, after 1972 the five-line staff was dead, and anything I needed to tell a performer could be communicated in words and pictures. Over time I've begrudgingly recanted the former observation, but I still value verbal instructions.

Since I began teaching at The School Of The Art Institute Of Chicago in 1999 I've sought out compositions that could be performed by people who cannot read traditional music notation, and have returned to alternative scores, mostly from the 1960s and 70s. (Two invaluable resources have been Roger Johnson's [sadly out of print] Scores: An Anthology of New Music (Schirmer Books, 1981) and a collection of publications by the Experimental Music Catalog (London) that I picked up when I was in London in 1976 with the Watson Fellowship). In this spirit I unearthed my BA and MA theses. Obviously this is "student work" -- all of it is clearly derivative of the music Lucier was playing us, much of it is cringeworthy, but a few of the pieces are not without some historical, pedagogical or even musical value.


  • Niche (performance version) (1978)
  • $12 OLD (1976)
  • Q (1975)
  • Feetback (1975)
  • Pea Soup (1974)
  • Nodalings (1974)

  • As I Said Before (1976)
  • The Lesser Coverts Of The Bend Of A Bird's Wing When Distinctively Colored (1975)
  • The Kuivila Uncertainty Principle (1975)
  • All The News That's Left In Print (1975)
  • Note (1973-75)

  • Niche (installation version) (1979)
  • ANDS (1979)
  • Un Ange Passe (1977)
  • Summer Garden (1976)
  • The Numbers (1974-76)