Chou Wen Chung

The answer is in the beginning.


Artist Info

Jeff Talman, pioneer of resonant and ambient sound composition (Neural Magazine-Italy, 2018), is known for the unique timbres, advanced spatial gesture, harmony, expression and extended symphonic form in his work. These works are experienced as traversable gallery/alternate-site installations, in 4-D quasi-concert style, with video works and as binaural stereo recordings. Frequently collaborative with scientists, his works are presented in cosmic, arts, natural, and spiritual contexts. The Los Angeles Times named his installation Of Sound Before the Stars as a Best Classical Music of 2019 selection. NASA, The New York Times, BBC, NPR, ARD (German consortium of national public broadcasting services), and Wired Magazine have recognized his work via broadcast, print and the internet. Awards include those from the New York Foundation for the Arts and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation.

Talman began programming computers in 1972 and owned his first synthesizer as a teen. He studied music composition and visual arts at the City College of New York and continued his composition studies at Columbia University, including work in the world renowned electronic and computer music studios. Composition teachers include Chou Wen-chung, Jack Beeson, Lester Trimble, Jan Meyerowitz and Mario Davidovsky. During grad school, Talman became a copyist, then orchestrator for Virgil Thomson, Lester Trimble and Bill Mayer. He also taught and directed orchestras at both Columbia and City College, and hosted a New Music radio show for six years at WKCR. Not long after, he worked in BR Productions studio in NYC as a Pro Tools expert and headed up the mastering initiative of over 100 CDs produced by the studio.

While living in Prague in the mid-nineties Talman become obsessed with the natural ambience of St. Vitus Cathedral. After returning to NYC he analyzed the room tone of Old St. Patrick's Cathedral in Little Italy to find measurable harmonic activity in the supposedly quiet church. This was similar to what he had heard in Prague and this changed his perspective regarding the potential for site specific work involving the self-sound of large spaces. After mounting his first resonant installation in Columbia University's St. Paul's Chapel, he toured Europe numerous times (2003-2009) to record and study the "self-sound" of over one hundred large-scale sacred and historic sites. Since that first installation in 1999, he's completed over forty installations.

In addition to Columbia and City College, teaching engagements have included Massachusetts College of Art, Emerson College, and as a Graduate Thesis Supervisor for Uniarts, Helsinki Academy of Fine Arts. He’s also given guest graduate art critiques at the Rhode Island School of Design and the State University of New York — New Paltz.