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Noah Creshevsky

American composer Noah Creshevsky coined the term hyperrealism to describe his musical language and aesthetic. His work incorporates sounds and samples taken from everyday life, including bits of dialogue, music, and ambient sounds, arranged in an exaggerated, frequently cartoonish or humorous manner. He utilizes familiar elements of pop culture, recontextualizing them and often editing them into brief jolts of sound, but rarely altering them beyond recognition. He also stresses the importance of drawing from wide sonic palettes, including Western as well as non-Western traditions. His works are far from predictable or conventional and are frequently surprising, even exciting. Creshevsky has taught at several institutions, including Brooklyn College, Juilliard, and Princeton University. Creshevsky was born in Rochester, New York in 1945. He studied composition under Nadia Boulanger in Paris and Luciano Berio at the Juilliard School in New York City. He began composing music in 1971, and much of his material throughout the next two decades consisted of tape collage pieces. These groundbreaking recordings predated similar sample-based works by plunderphonic artists such as John Oswald and Negativland, and can even be viewed as a precursor to the dense, high-impact production style of hip-hop producers such as the Bomb Squad and Steinski. Several Creshevsky compositions were issued on LPs by the Opus One label, including the 1976 composition "In Other Words," which featured the voice of John Cage, taken from an interview. From the mid-'80s onwards, Creshevsky's works combined electronic and acoustic sound sources, often creating "superperformers," resulting in music far too complex to be performed by humans. Centaur Records released three compact discs of Creshevsky's works: Man & Superman (1992), Auxesis (with Charles Amirkhanian, 1995), and Who (2000). Mutable Music issued Hyperrealism in 2003, and the following year, the Japanese label EM Records released The Tape Music of Noah Creshevsky 1971-1992, which brought many of his early works to compact disc for the first time. Subsequent Creshevsky compositions, which featured an increased presence of acoustic instruments and vocals rather than sampled material, arrived on John Zorn's Tzadik label (as part of their Composer Series) and Pogus Productions, including a split CD with If, Bwana (aka label founder Al Margolis). In 2015, EM Records released Creshevsky's Hyperrealist Music, 2011-2015. In 2018, Orange Milk Records, a label highly influenced by Creshevsky's concept of hyperrealism, issued Reanimator, a full-length spanning previously released works such as 1986's "Strategic Defense Initiative" to the 2017 composition "Belle du Jour."
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