David Russell Borden(born December 25, 1938 in Boston, Massachusetts) is an American composer and keyboard player of minimalist music.
In 1969, with the support of Robert Moog, he founded the synthesizer ensemble Mother Mallard's Portable Masterpiece Company in Ithaca New York. Mother Mallard performed pieces by Robert Ashley, John Cage, Terry Riley, Philip Glass, and Steve Reich. In addition to his work with electronics and the Mother Mallard ensemble, Borden has written music for various chamber and vocal ensembles. He is also an accomplished jazz pianist.
David Borden was educated at the Eastman School of Music and Harvard University. At Harvard he studied with Leon Kirchner and Randall Thompson, and at Eastman with Bernard Rogers and Howard Hanson. He was also a Fulbright student in Berlin Germany, where he studied at the Hochschule für Musik .
Borden's compositions are similar to the repetitive minimalist style of Philip Glass, Steve Reich, and Terry Riley. Borden is also very interested in counterpoint, best demonstrated in his large scale series of works The Continuing Story of Counterpoint, Parts 1-12.
David Borden was commissioned to write the score to the 1973 film The Exorcist by director William Friedkin. However, less than a minute of Borden's music was actually used in the film (Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells was prominently featured on the soundtrack instead.)
Borden participated in the many activities surrounding the 30th anniversary of the founding of Mother Mallard's Portable Masterpiece Company in 1999, including several live performances and CD reissues on the Cuneiform record label.
His The Continuing Story of Counterpoint (a twelve-part cycle of pieces for synthesizers, acoustic instruments and voice) has been called the "Goldberg Variations of minimalism.'" John DiLiberto
Four books have cited and discussed his work. In keeping with his interdisciplinary approach to his life and work, two books deal with American music history, one with music technology and one with the paintings of George Deem:
Borden's music is recorded by the Cuneiform, New World Records, Lameduck and Arbiter labels.
His first composition teachers were jazz musicians Jimmy Giuffre and Jaki Byard. He collaborates and performs with his son, Gabriel Borden and stepson, Sam Godin. Borden resides in Ithaca, NY with his wife, Rebecca Godin. He is the retired founder and Director of the Digital Music Program (now the Cornell Electroacoustic Music Center) at Cornell University.
John Coolidge Adams is an American composer and conductor of classical music and opera, with strong roots in minimalism.
Stephen Michael Reich is an American composer known for his contribution to the development of minimal music in the mid to late 1960s.
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ARP Instruments, Inc. was an American manufacturer of electronic musical instruments, founded by Alan Robert Pearlman in 1969. It created a popular and commercially successful range of synthesizers throughout the 1970s before declaring bankruptcy in 1981. The company earned a reputation for producing excellent sounding, innovative instruments and was granted several patents for the technology it developed.
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A mallard is a type of duck.
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Mother Mallard's Portable Masterpiece Company, formed in 1969 by David Borden, was an early synthesizer ensemble, predating groups like Tonto's Expanding Head Band and Tangerine Dream. David Borden was in contact with Robert Moog and was one of the first musicians to use his Minimoog. After recruiting Steve Drews and Linda Fisher to operate additional synthesizers, the group began playing concerts of minimalist music by Terry Riley, Steve Reich, and Philip Glass. They began recording their first self-titled album in 1970, but it would not be released until 1973 by Earthquack Records. Their second album, Like a Duck to Water, was released in 1976. Borden and Mother Mallard continue performing Borden's recent and older music.
Erich Urbanner is an Austrian composer and teacher.
Mother Mallard's Portable Masterpiece Co. is the debut album of synthesizer ensemble Mother Mallard's Portable Masterpiece Company, independently released in 1973 through Earthquack Recordings.
John Holland is an American composer, author, performer, and recording artist. He is Professor Emeritus in the Studio for Interrelated Media at Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston. Holland headed the Electronic Music Studio and taught music and performance classes before he retired from teaching in 2009.