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KULOKKER for Wind Band by George E. Lewis (USA, 1952)

[#176] December 05, 2022 2020| Wind Ensemble | Grade 6 | 15'- 20' | Contemporary

American composer, performer and scholar of experimental music George Lewis

Kulokker by American composer, performer and scholar of experimental music George Lewis, is our Composition of the Week.

Kulokker was composed in 2020 and premiered on March 4 of the same year at the University of Bergen’s Museum of Natural History, Norway, by the Norwegian Naval Forces Band with Ingar Bergby conducting. During that concert another Lewis’ work was premiered as well, “Big Shoulders, Sharp Elbows”.

Kulokker explores the expressive possibilities of the wind band through sound production techniques typical of the 20th and 21st centuries, such as glissandos, different textures produced by vibratos, air-sound, inverted mouthpieces, indeterminate pitch, clusters, percussive sounds (slap tongue), smear sounds producing rough textures, voice grunt or voice growl, as well as the use of extended techniques (multiphonic sounds) and a variety of mutes in the brass.

Kulokker is scored for:

2.1.5.BCl.Sax(3).1/333.Euph.1.Timpani. Percussion (2)

It has a duration of about 18 – 20 minutes.

It was written for “Sjøforsvarets Musikkorps” and commissioned by nymusikk, Norway’s center for contemporary music.

This music is available at Edition Peters.

George Lewis has been a member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) since 1971, when he joined the organization at the age of 19. He is renowned for his work as an improvising trombonist and considered a pioneer of computer music, which he began pursuing in the late 1970s; in the 1980s he created Voyager, an improvising software he has used in interactive performances. Lewis’s many honors include a MacArthur Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship, and his book A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music received the American Book Award.

Dr. Lewis is the Edwin H. Case Professor of American Music, Composition & Historical Musicology at Columbia University. In 2015, he received the degree of Doctor of Music (DMus, honoris causa) from the University of Edinburgh. In 2017, he has received the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters (PhD, honoris causa) from New College of Florida, as well as a degree of Doctor of Music from Harvard University.


Other works for wind band include

  • Big Shoulders, Sharp Elbows (2020)


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