Benjamin Boretz

Benjamin Boretz is a twentieth- and twenty-first-century American composer and music theorist. He was one of the early composers to work with computer-synthesized sound (Group Variations II, 1970-72). In the late 1970s and 1980s he converged his compositional and pedagogical practices in a project of realtime improvisational music making, culminating in the formation (at Bard College) of the music-learning program called Music Program Zero, which flourished until 1995. He has written extensively on musical issues, as critic, theorist, and musical philosopher, from the perspective of a practicing composer. His earliest (1970) large-scale music-intellectual essay was the book-length “Meta-Variations, Studies in the Foundations of Musical Thought” which addresses the epistemological questions involved in the cognition and composition of music, and propounds a radically relativistic/individualistic/ontological reconstruction of the music-creative process. Later (1978), his text composition “Language, as a Music, Six marginal Pretexts for Composition” engaged questions of the origin and nature of language and meaning as they might be conceived from the perspective of music. Boretz is a co-founder, with Arthur Berger, of the composers’ music journal Perspectives of New Music and, in 1999, founded The Open Space Magazine, which he edits with Mary Lee Roberts, Tildy Bayar, and Dorota Czerner.

For more info see The Open Space.