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Gene Coleman Gene Coleman Website
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Gene Coleman, born December 4th 1958, is a composer, bass clarinetist and visual artist. In 1979 he began to study painting and film at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago; later he gradually began to turn to music. His encounters with Anthony Braxton and Mahal Richard Abram played a crucial role in his musical development. Since that time Coleman explored new music in all its facets. In 1987 he founded the new music group Ensemble Noamnesia, to which he still belongs. It cultivates a broad repertoire from classical modernism to contemporary improvisation. Many renowned institutions have commissioned Coleman compositions, including the Klangforum Wien, the Ernst von Siemens Foundation and Trio Accanto. Coleman has written more than 40 works for various arrangements, in which passages of precise notation often alternate with improvisational parts. With the radical use of expanded instrumental sound production Coleman works toward a synthesis between sound, noise and music.
Coleman has received scholarships and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Meet the Composer and the Jory Foundation. In 2001 the Japan US Friendship Commission financed an extended work stay in Japan. Coleman has performed improvised music with Evan Parker, Derek Bailey, Radu Malfatti and Taku Sugimoto, among others. The ensemble Noamnesia has worked with such composers as Helmut Lachenmann, Gerhard Staebler, Salvatore Sciarrino, George Crumb, Luc Ferrari and Vinko Globokar. Since May 2000 Gene Coleman has acted as the director of Sound Field, a Chicago festival for new and experimental music. Beginning in 2003 he will curate the newly initiated festival transonic at House of World Cultures in Berlin. A radio portrait broadcast in 1996 by the Chicago station WNUR-FM contains the following description of Coleman’s open working methods: “Coleman seems to have found a place for himself at the exact point of contact between several deeply-rooted pairs of opposites: ‘then’ versus ‘now’, pop versus classical, the modernism of the fifties versus the 19th century, the United States versus Europe, Chicago versus New York …”

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