Alvin Curran

Alvin Curran

Democratic, irreverent and traditionally experimental, Curran travels in a computerised covered wagon between the Golden Gate and the Tiber River.

He makes music for every occasion with any sounding phenomena – a volatile mix of lyricism and chaos, structure and indeterminacy, fog horns, fiddles and fiddle heads. He is dedicated to the restoration of dignity to the profession of making non-commercial music as part of a personal search for future social, political and spiritual forms.

Curran’s music-making embraces all the contradictions (composed/improvised, tonal/atonal, maximal/minimal) in a serene dialectical encounter. His more than 150 works feature taped/sampled natural sounds, piano, synthesisers, computers, violin, percussion, shofar, ship horns, accordion and chorus. Whether in the intimate form of his well-known solo performances, or pure chamber music, experimental radio works or large-scale site-specific sound environments and installations, all forge a very personal language from all the languages through dedicated research and recombinant invention.

With a fortuitous bang, he begun his musical journey in Rome in 1965, as co-founder of the radical music collective Musica Elettronica Viva, as a solo performer and as a composer for Rome’s avant-garde theater scene. In the 70s, he created a poetic series of solo works for synthesiser, voice, taped sounds and found objects. Curran is now considered one of the leading figures in making music outside of the concert halls; he developed a series of concerts for lakes, ports, parks, buildings, quarries and caves, which he calls his natural laboratories. In the 1980s, he used the idea of musical geography to create simultaneous radio concerts for large ensembles performing together from various European capitals.

Curran has produced an enriched body of solo performance works – an ideal synthesis between the concert hall and all sounding phenomena in the world. He has also worked with visual artists on sound installations over the years, and continues to write numerous pieces for radio and for acoustic instruments.

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