Michael Dessen

picture of Michael  Dessen

Associate Professor, Music
Claire Trevor School of the Arts

Ph.D., University of California, San Diego, 2003, Music (Critical Studies and Experimental Practices)
M.M., University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 1996, Jazz Composition
B.M., Eastman School of Music, 1989, Performance

Phone: (949) 824-6870
Email: mdessen@uci.edu

University of California, Irvine
3203 Contemporary Arts Center
Mail Code: 2775
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
Integrated Composition, Improvisation and Technology; Critical Studies in Music
Research Abstract
Michael Dessen is a composer and trombonist who creates music for improvisers and explores the artistic potentials of technologies including live electronics, telepresence and networked scores. Working with his own electro-acoustic trio and many collective projects, Dessen’s composing includes networked “scorestreams” that are displayed dynamically on screens for performers to interpret. As an improviser, he collaborates with diverse bands in addition to performing solo on digibone, an animistic world of slide trombone and live electronics. Since 2007, Dessen has also been involved in numerous telematic concerts that link performers in distant locations via high-definition networking technologies. He has composed new works specifically for the telematic stage, and has co-directed large-scale telematic projects featuring renowned composer-improvisers performing together across continents.

Dessen’s music has been supported by commissions from organizations including Chamber Music America and the Fromm Foundation. He has published writings on music, focusing especially on the role of African American traditions within late-twentieth century experimental music worlds, and he is a Music faculty member in the Claire Trevor School of the Arts at the University of California, Irvine, where he co-founded a new PhD program in Integrated Composition, Improvisation and Technology (ICIT). Dessen’s teachers include Yusef Lateef, George Lewis, and Anthony Davis, and he is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music (BM), the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (MM), and the University of California, San Diego (PhD).

For more information, please visit www.mdessen.com
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