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UC San Diego's Department of Music

July 28, 2009
GEORGE RUSSELL (1923-2009): FAMED COMPOSER PRAISED YOUNG UCSD COMPOSER



  Innovative composer George Russell, who passed away July 28, 2009, and was known for his use of the Lydian mode and his collaborations with Miles Davis and John Coltraine, also had a connection to UCSD composer Lei Liang.

"I am very sad to hear of his passing," said Liang, a member of the Department of Music faculty. "We were featured back to back at the Ditson Festival in Boston last year, and it was great to see him so vibrant. Here is what he wrote to me almost 10 years ago. I will always be grateful for his support and kindness."

Lei Liang's composition 'Other Encounter' (1999), places him at the cutting edge of Twenty First Century music.  His innovative combinations of timbres, rhythms, states of being create a  gripping panorama that results in musical theater that commands the attention of the listener throughout the piece as its emotional intensity expands and contracts until the composer, the very gifted Lei Liang, allows the listener to disengage...perhaps as a slightly different being than the one who existed at the beginning of the piece.  We should keep an ear open to Lei Liang and his startling music." - George Russell
  

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