Ives and Gann Meet in Berlin

Having returned last night from performing in Santa Fe, I am on my way to Europe. According to my site statistics only a small percentage of my readers come from Europe, but more from the German time zone than elsewhere. If anyone reading this happens to be in Berlin this Friday, I’ll be presenting a paper that morning at the Maerzmusik festival. The festival is devoted to Charles Ives, and I’ll be talking about Ives’ influence on current American composers, with musical examples. It’s a little awkward having been asked, because I do believe that I myself am perhaps the most Ives-influenced composer around, and I could spin an entire lecture out of just my debts to him, not to mention my patent imitations. In 1991 Ives appeared to me in the most inspiring dream of my life: I was among a crowd of people waiting in his house to meet him, and he came out and led me to the piano, where either he played for me or I for him or both at the same time, and he gave me his blessing.

While I’m at it, I’d be curious for some input as to what recent composers show a particular debt to Ives. If you know of examples, if you’re a composer who’s built on his aesthetic, or if you have ideas about Ives’ effect on American music, I’d appreciate hearing from you – e-mail address at right of this page.