Discipline: Music Composition

Steven Kazuo Takasugi

Discipline: Music Composition
Region: Waban, MA
MacDowell fellowships: 1989, 2020, 2021

Steven Kazuo Takasugi is a composer of electro-acoustic music. He collects and archives recorded, acoustic sound samples into large databases, each classifying thousands of individual, performed instances collected over decades of experimentation and research, mostly conducted in his private sound laboratory. These are then subjected to computer-assisted, algorithmic composition, and revised and adjusted until the resulting emergent sound phenomena, energies, and relationships reveal hidden meanings and contexts to the composer. Against this general project of fixed-media is the addition of live performers, often creating a "strange doubling" playing off the "who is doing what?" inherent with simultaneous live and recorded media: a ventriloquism effect of sorts.

During the first iteration of Virtual MacDowell in 2020 and his follow-up residency in Peterborough, Steven worked on a Piano Concerto for the Canadian pianist Roger Admiral, the SWR (South West Germany Radio) Symphony Orchestra, and electronics for the Donaueschingen Music Festival scheduled in 2022.

Image copyright Marco Giugliarelli for Civitella Ranieri Foundation, 2017



Steven Kazuo Takasugi worked in the Barnard studio.

Originally built near Union Street, the Barnard Studio — which was funded by Barnard College music students — was re-located to its current site in 1910. When the small structure was moved to its current location, its size was doubled with the addition of a second room. This remodeling, financed by Mrs. Thomas E. Emery…

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