|Lejaren Hiller (1924–1994) was a musically eclectic composer, often combining several different types of techniques in the same piece. In the mid-sixties, he asserted that his "objective in composing music by means of computer programming is not the immediate realization of an aesthetic unity, but the providing and evaluating of techniques whereby this goal can eventually be realized." In this sense Hiller was a forward-looking composer, in that each piece was an experiment that lead toward the next piece. The three works contained in this collection-Computer Cantata (1963), Quartet No. 6 for Strings (1973), A Portfolio for Diverse Performers and Tape (1974)-demonstrate his love of musical diversity and eclecticism. These works also exhibit other trends that are common in Hiller's music, including collaboration, an interest in microtonality, symmetrical and arch forms, and indeterminate instrumentation. The works span a little more than a decade, from 1963 to 1974, which were amongst his greatest years as a composer. The works also use a variety of instrumentations, from purely acoustic to electronic, and computer music with live ensemble.
These three works are drawn from the CRI LP back catalog and will be making their first appearance on CD. Virtually none of Hiller's music is currently available on disc and this reissue restores some of his most representative works to circulation.