Guest Lecture: Mark Applebaum '89
Keynote Lecture: Moral Dilemmas for the Composer of Contemporary Music
Mark Applebaum, Benedict Distinguished Visiting Professor
Carleton alumnus, former trustee, and Stanford University professor of music composition Mark Applebaum ’89 is in residence this fall as Carleton's Benedict Distinguished Visiting Professor to teach Music 137: Rock, Sex, & Rebellion.
Applebaum’s solo, chamber, choral, orchestral, operatic, and electroacoustic work has been performed on six continents, including notable commissions from the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, the Fromm Foundation, the Spoleto Festival, the Kronos Quartet, Chamber Music America, and the Vienna Modern Festival. Many of his pieces are characterized by challenges to the conventional boundaries of musical ontology: works for three conductors and no players, a concerto for florist and orchestra, pieces for instruments made of junk, notational specifications that appear on the faces of custom wristwatches, works for an invented sign language choreographed to sound, amplified Dadaist rituals, a chamber work comprised of obsessive page turns, and a 72-foot long graphic score displayed in a museum and accompanied by no instructions for its interpretation. His TED talk has been seen by more than five million viewers. Applebaum is also an accomplished jazz pianist and builds electroacoustic sound-sculptures out of junk, hardware, and found objects.
In this lecture-demonstration he traces an overview of his work as a composer during the three decades since his student days at Carleton. Multiple examples of both conventional and experimental music will be shared, including a live jazz piano improvisation and an excerpt of his piece Aphasia for hand gestures synchronized to audio. Applebaum will also propose a vexing ethical dilemma that faces the contemporary composer and share insights into his behemoth 72-foot long pictographic score, The Metaphysics of Notation, on display this term at Carleton’s Perlman Museum.
Open to the public.
- Five concurrent interpretations of The Metaphysics of Notation will take place throughout the Weitz Center for Creativity on Friday, October 22, starting at 6:30pm. Members of the Carleton community will interpret the scores using dance, instrumental music, choral music, drawing and more!
- Three additional musical performances will take place on Tuesdays at noon in the Perlman Teaching Museum: October 5, October 19, and November 2.
Anyone attending a campus event must wear a mask, and is expected to either be fully vaccinated, or to have received a negative COVID test within 72 hours of attending an event on campus.