Composer Anthony Cornicello (born in Brooklyn, New York, 1964) writes music that blurs distinctions between performers and electronics, timbre and harmony, composition and improvisation, and explores the boundaries of what may be considered post-classical concert music. His music is vibrant and visceral, full of rhythmic energy and harmonic sophistication, and his forays into live electronics have led to exciting combinations of instruments and processed sound. Cornicello’s background as a jazz pianist is evident not only in the rhythmic activity of his music, but also in his constant investigation of the rich sonorities available from a variety of instruments.

He has been commissioned to write music for the Scorchio Electric String Quartet, ModernWorks! (funding from Meet the Composer/ Commissioning Music USA), the Auros Group for New Music, the Prism Saxophone Quartet, the New York New Music Ensemble, David Holzman, the Group for Contemporary Music, and the InterEnsemble of Padova, Italy. His work has also been featured on the Guggenheim Museum’s “Works and Process” series. Cornicello’s works have also been performed by the Chicago Civic Symphony, Parnassus, ALEA III, Composers Concordance, Madeleine Shapiro, Robert Black, among many other outstanding groups and solo performers. His music has been presented as part of the Darmstadt International Festival of New Music as well as the June in Buffalo Festival.

Cornicello’s Second String Quartet has been recorded by the Atlantic String Quartet; the Second Sonata for Piano by David Holzman (Centaur). More recently, his Post-Modern Waltz was recorded by Eric Moe for Albany Records. A portrait CD of Cornicello’s works is scheduled for 2006 release on Albany Records.

As a performer, he has conducted or played piano in his own works on numerous occasions. While a graduate student at Rutgers, he formed and directed the Janus Ensemble, a group dedicated to contemporary music. More recently, Cornicello has begun performing on the laptop, using a variety of interfaces and the Max/MSP program. Those performances, mostly with EEE!, have had a notable impact on his music, as EEE!’s music ranges from hip-hop to experimental noise. EEE! is based at Eastern Connecticut State University, where Cornicello is an Associate Professor and Director of the Electronic Music Lab.

Cornicello received the Ph.D. from Brandeis University, where he studied with David Rakowski, Eric Chasalow, and Martin Boykan. His teachers also include Charles Wuorinen, Gérard Grisey, and Richard Beirach.

His current fields of interest include developing unusual interfaces for live computer music performances, as well as continuing to investigate resonance and spatialization. His recent and current projects (mostly for string instruments and electronics) have been exploring the latter two, and the series of experimental works ReZenant Garden, performed by EEE! have operated on all three areas of interest. Future projects will include works for instrumental groups or soloists and electronics, as well as turntablists.

Cornicello's works are published by C.F. Peters Corporation and APNM, and he is a member of BMI.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009
Well, I'm back....

Okay, this has been a ridiculously long hiatus. Let me explain: have you ever had one project that took a lot longer than you thought it would, and it affected the next project, which then became a "rush"? Well, that's what happened to me: one big cascade of projects. The summer project (finishing my setting of Coney Island of the Mind) spilled over into the fall semester, which was quite busy for me. Oh, and like so many others, I spent most of August through early November reading postings on, and I just recall spending many nights reading blogs and dissecting polls (I got to the point where I could hear the name of a poll and tell you how reliable the numbers were, based on the sample size and demographics!), hoping that people wouldn't fall for the vicious and racist things coming from the McPalin camp. And, like so many others, I sat there on the night of November 4, watching CNN and crying like a baby when it was announced. I knew that Obama would have won, but I wasn't really expecting the large victory that he got.

So, just a brief recap of the year.

Kind of an odd beginning to the year, as we all got the notice that the ICO gallery series was basically off. I'm not sure exactly what happened between the concert organizers and the gallery, but the result was a terrible mess. Curiously, I still get email from the ICO, despite my somewhat irate post.

April (told you this was just highlights!)
This was a busy month. I attended the SEAMUS 2008 Conference in Salt Lake City (okay, SLC is an odd place). When I came back, my group EEE! did a performance of the film Metropolis with live electronic music. My students edited the film down to about 80 minutes, getting rid of a lot of dialog scenes where you'd have to lip-read in German.
Then, after that, we had our SEMI concert series in Hartford. For me, the highlight was the robotic Gamelan orchestra Gamelatron (I keep thinking Gamera, and the Mystery Science Theatre song), which was run by Zemi17 (Aaron Taylor Kuffner). Odd, but really entertaining. Sophia was there, and she liked it!

Finally finished Syncretic Resonances, a work for 2 clarinets and electronics. It's been played by F. Gerard Errante and D Gausse, and they're going on a European tour with it this winter. And, it's going to be played at SEAMUS 2009 as well.

Went back to work on the Coney Island pieces. This is a blog in itself! I took six poems from the book and set them for tenor voice, an ensemble of tenor sax/bass clarinet, electric guitar, accordion, bass, keyboard, drums/percussion, and electronics.
Oh, and I did buy that accordion.

Began a truly busy semester, including the worst group of students that I've ever had in my class. Not that they were 'bad students' in the sense of not knowing much or couldn't spell, but bad in the sense that about one-third of them (small class, mind you) walked in deciding that they hated this required class. Honestly, unless I walked in there and said that those students could skip class and get an A, I don't think that I could have done anything to win them over. It was torture - not only for me, but for the other students as well. Needless to say, I get to determine grades and classroom participation counts...

Also, I was commissioned by Pete Jarvis to write a work for drum set and electronics. And, he invited me to take part in the Composer-in-Residence series at William Patterson College. I'll be over there in March, 2009.

Premiere of the Coney Island piece. More on this later.

Wrote the drum set piece, Janaka Blast. Janaka is an Indian rhythmic cell in 7-beats.

That's all for now.