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3 electro-acoustic experts at U.

SHARE 3 electro-acoustic experts at U.

This week, the University of Utah's department of music will offer Salt Lake concertgoers a rare and unique opportunity to expand their musical horizons. On Tuesday, the Maurice Abravanel Visiting Distinguished Composers Series will present a concert by three renowned composers in the field of electronic and electro-acoustic music.

Jonathan Harvey, Paul Lansky and Olly Wilson have for the past 30 or 40 years been articulate exponents of both conventional and nontraditional forms of musical expression. Utah composer Miguel Chuaqui is organizing the event and said he is elated that the three will be able to be in Salt Lake City at the same time. "This is going to be a great opportunity for the public and for our students to get involved with this music more closely and to meet with composers of this caliber." While they are in town, Harvey, Lansky and Wilson will also lecture about their music and meet one-on-one with students.

Chuaqui teaches the electronic-acoustic class at the University of Utah, and he noted that having the three composers on campus puts the spotlight once again on the school's electronic music studio. "Our studio has been active in the years since Vladimir Ussachevsky left, but not as much as it was during his time here. This gives the studio a much more prominent role in the department."

Contrary to popular belief, Chuaqui said, the electronic music that will be played at Tuesday's concert won't be sterile and devoid of content. "The term 'electronic music' conjures up the idea that this is music that is concocted in the studio, and that it can't be appealing. I don't think their music represents that stereotype. There is a lot of variety in this music, and it's powerful emotionally."

The three composers have all written works that explore different performer media, and each has a different approach to acoustic and computer-generated music. "Harvey writes live electronic music and also acoustic music," Chuaqui said. As a young composer, Harvey, who was born in 1939, was writing in the eclectic style of Benjamin Britten. In the early 1970s, however, he came into contact with Milton Babbitt, and that changed his ideas about music. "Harvey then began writing in a more avant-garde style and withdrew all of his earlier works."

Wilson, who is black, has incorporated spirituals and other elements that reflect the African and African-American experience. "He has a strong background in jazz and much of his music is modernist, although none of his pieces on the concert are obviously derived from these sources."

Lansky is a composer who has changed significantly over the years. "He was a student of Babbitt's and incorporated his ideas on serialism," Chuaqui said. "Lansky also did some important work with George Perle and 12-tone theory. As he continued to work with electronic music, his pieces became more direct. I think his music sounds like the stereotyped electronic lab. It's fun to listen to."

There will be two works by each composer at Tuesday's concert — Harvey's "The Riot" for flute, bass clarinet and piano and "Ricercare una Melodia" for cello and live electronics; Wilson's "Echoes" for clarinet and electronic sounds and "Sometimes" for tenor and electronic sounds; Lansky's "Ride" and "Pattern's Patterns," both 8-track format electronic works.

Performing will be flutist Carlton Vickers, clarinetist Jaren Hinkley, cellist Noriko Kishi, pianist Heather Connor and tenor Todd Miller.

If you go . . .

What: An Electronic Music Celebration

Where: Edgar J.

Thompson Chamber Music Hall, David Gardner Hall, University of Utah

When: Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.

How much: Free

Also: Free lectures at Dumke Recital Hall, David Gardner Hall, U.:

Jonathan Harvey, 10:45 a.m.

Olly Wilson, 2 p.m.

Paul Lansky, 4:30 p.m.

E-MAIL: ereichel@desnews.com