Tom Lopez

Tom Lopez teaches at the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music; Assistant Professor of Computer Music and Digital Arts. He is also the Director of the Computer Music Program at The Walden School.

Tom has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Aaron Copland Fund, the Mid-America Arts Alliance, the Knight Foundation, the Disney Foundation, Meet the Composer, ASCAP, and a Fulbright Fellowship as composer-in-residence at the Centre International de Recherche Musical in Nice, France. He has appeared at festivals and conferences around the world as a guest lecturer and composer. Tom has served on the executive committee of SCI (Society of Composers, Inc.) and was president of the Texas Computer Musicians Network. He has been a resident artist at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, the Copland House, Villa Montalvo, and Djerassi. His compositions have received critical acclaim and peer recognition; including a Grant for Young Composers by ASCAP for Vocal Sketch #2, and releases on CD by SEAMUS (Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States) for Curvatures and by SEAMUS and SCI for Hollow Ground II. His music has been performed around the world and throughout the United States including The Kennedy Center.

"The most artistically satisfying work on the program was Tom Lopez's 'They Hearken to Echoes,' an incredibly effective, lightly staged work for two flutists that draws its inspiration from architect Louis Sullivan, whose objects appear to transform objects at a distance to a point of closeness.

Using great imagination and a keen sense for the dramatic, Lopez invokes a slow but relentless sequence of canonic, imitative and echo-driven effects that achieves the coming together of the two flutists from afar-musically and spatially. The performers begin at opposite ends of the hall and gradually approach each other, as the echoes eventually turn into a two-part invention until the flutes ultimately meld into a unison synchronization of pitch and timbre. Flutists Kelly Covert and Kristin Bacchiocchi achieved an impressive, symbiotic blend of tone and color."

- The Post-Standard, April 2, 2001, David Abrams


They Hearken to Echoes (for two flutes)
They Hearken to Echoes was composed in Austin, Texas (1997, revised in Oberlin, Ohio 2001). The title, which describes the performers both literally and metaphorically, is from the writings of architect Louis Sullivan. The overall design of the piece moves from distance to closeness; with respect to the physical placement of performers, with respect to melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic material, and especially with respect to echoes. Perhaps it is a "call-response" work, where the response time gradually diminishes until the call and the response are simultaneous. Or perhaps it is a canon modeled on a drawing by M.C. Escher, in which the second voice slowly gains ground until both voices share a moment of synchronicity.

Flutists Kelly Covert and Kristin Bacchiocchi

9' duration

For more information and performance materials, go to:

Curvatures (for string quartet and electronics)
Curvatures was composed in Oberlin, Ohio (2001, revised in Oberlin, 2004). This work was created for amplified string quartet (acoustic or Zeta instruments) and live electronics. The sounds of the quartet are manipulated with effects units or a computer. Signal processing techniques modify the timbral characteristics of the quartet; sometimes to a large degree but very often in subtle ways, allowing the audience to wonder whether particular sounds are from the real quartet or a virtual quartet. One of my compositional goals was to traverse a wide range of sonic worlds. Within a relatively short piece, the music navigates between fast and slow, thick and thin, chaotic and serene, minimal and fugal, cerebral and emotional, and so on. I wanted to compose a piece that would keep the listener on their toes, present occasional surprises, and provide something for the body and the brain.

8' duration

String Quartet Erica Dicker, Gillian Rivers, Amy Cimini, and Robin Reynolds

For performance materials, go to:

Hollow Ground II (for soprano and tape)
Hollow Ground II was composed in Austin, Texas (1996). Written for soprano voice and prerecorded sound, this work has been performed with dance choreographed by Yacov Sharir. As it is the second piece in a trilogy commissioned by the Sharir Dance Company, it contains some of the sonic material from its predecessor Hollow Ground I; no other pre-existing musical sources were incorporated. Both works contain various acoustic instruments lying around my apartment at the time; shakers, rattles, rain sticks, finger cymbals, computers, and so on. Despite the addition of a vocalist, Hollow Ground II does not have any text; the vocalist never sings a word-her sounds are syllabic, which, when combined with her physical gestures during performance, create a strong ritualistic quality. Perhaps this is a kind of indigenous music; that is, music generated from making the most out of the materials within arm's reach. With an internal drive to create, an artist will use whatever is available to achieve their expression; the "whatever" one uses is local, but the desire to "express" is global.

11' duration

Soprano Larisa Montanaro

For performance materials, go to:

Lorelei (for twelve female voices)
Lorelei was composed in Austin, Texas (1995). The title refers to a siren, in Germanic legends, whose beautiful singing lured sailors to shipwreck. Such evocative singing is also attributed with guiding recently-departed souls to heaven. The work is in three movements. The first movement is "Pure," English for the German word, "rein." The second movement is "Heart," English for the German word, "hard." The third movement is, "Reins," an English word defining the part of the body which is the source of affection and passion. Lorie Lee Reinhard (April 1, 1970 - June 29, 1987) died in a car accident on the roads of rural Ohio. The driver also died and two additional passengers were injured.

10' duration

University of Houston Women's Chamber Chorus; Betsey Weber, director

For performance materials, go to: