Larry Polansky: a conversation with Elliot Simpson

Larry Polansky: These Are the Generations, a conversation with Elliot Simpson appeared in Prepared Guitar.


Larry Polansky (1954) is a composer, guitarist, mandolinist, and a professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He is a founding member and co-director of the composer's collective Frog Peak Music. He co-wrote HMSL (Hierarchical Music Specification Language) with Phil Burk and David Rosenboom.

His new cd These Are the Generations, is now available from New World Records. A work with extraordinary musicians: Doug Perkins (percussion), Chris Clarino (glockenspiel), Kate Stenberg (vln.), Vanessa Ruotolo (cello), Amy Beal (piano), Genevieve Kromm (trumpet), the William Winant Percussion Ensemble (Willie, Mike Jones, Tony Genero, Scott Siler, all on marimba), Giacomo Fiore (mandolin), Nelsen Hutchison (mandola), Chris Mallett (guitar), Sheila Willey (soprano), and Emily Sinclair (conductor). There are pieces from the 1980s, and some very recent ones as well. The CD design is by Jim Fox. The performers on the recording are similarly of different generations. Moreover, some of these works use some form of algorithmic composition while others use more conventional approaches to composing music. In some pieces, the musicians themselves must enact some kind of procedure to generate the sounds or structures they are to play.

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