David Tudor exhibition

“Teasing chaos”


David Tudor narrative

In the world of American experimental music, DAVID TUDOR was something of a legend. For a number of years following the Second World War, he was the only performer to devote himself systematically to experimental music. In doing so, Tudor became a touchstone for some of the most radical musical activity of the 20th century. The praise accorded him by the composers whose music he performed attested to Tudor's unique ability not only to meet the requirements of fully notated scores, but also to accomplish more than anyone had imagined in music in which some degree of indeterminacy was a compositional principle.

In the late 1960s, Tudor gradually ended his active career as a pianist. He had begun to work with the electronic modification of sound sources in the late 1950s, departing from the then common practice of fixing music on magnetic tape. Instead, Tudor created electronic sounds directly during performances, thus pioneering what was later to be called "live electronic music." By the mid-1960s, Tudor's ideas and performances had inspired a new trend in electronic music. By the end of the decade, Tudor became fully involved in live electronic music, producing his own compositions using electronic technology.

As composer, Tudor drew upon technological resources that were both flexible and complex: he employed, for the most part, custom-built modular electronic devices, many of his own manufacture. His method employed choices of specific electronic components and transducers, and their interconnections, that define both composition and performance. His sound materials unfolded through large gestures in time and space, and many of his compositions are associated with collaborative visual forces: light systems, dance, television, theater, film or four-color laser projections.

(Lovely Music - David Tudor Bio)


The goal of this traveling exhibition is to present the scope of David Tudor as:

  1. 1)A world-renowned musical interpreter on organ, piano, and electronics

  2. 2)A ground-breaking composer of live electronic music

  3. 3)A tireless collaborator with other artists

This will be accomplished through the use of an innovative combination of historical and contemporary materials (print, musical recordings, video, instruments, interactive exhibits, musical scores, performances, sound installations, web site, and panel discussions/presentations).


This site is not a public site, and presents an overview of the David Tudor exhibition and is a work-in-progress.  For comments/questions please contact:

John Driscoll

email: j.driscoll@composers-inside-electronics.net