Gary Lee Nelson
Gary Lee Nelson is a pioneer in the field of computer music. In 1964, he attended Utrecht University's Institute of Sonology in the Netherlands. Nelson earned his composition doctorate at Washington University in Saint Louis. He has taught at Purdue University and Bowling Green State University. Since 1974, he has been a faculty member at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. At Oberlin, Nelson is a Professor of Electronic and Computer Music. He served as chair of the TIMARA Department for most of his 30+ years at Oberlin.
Nelson is internationally recognized in his field. He has worked at Bell Laboratories, the Swedish Radio Electronic Music Studios in Stockholm and at the Institute for Research and Coordination of Acoustics and Music (IRCAM) in Paris. He has been composer in residence and guest researcher at the University of Melbourne, Australia, Taiwan's National Chiao Tung and Soochow Universities, Hong Kong Baptist University, the National Unitersity of Singapore, Moscow Conservatory of Music and Yunan State University in the Peoples Republic of China. In the fall of 1990 he spent four months in Europe lecturing and performing at universities in England, Scotland, and Holland.
Nelson has taught at summer music camps since the early 1960's. These include the Allegheny Music Festival, the New England Music Camp, and the National Music Camp (NMC) at Interlochen. At Interlochen Nelson was chair of the composition department. He also founded the NMC Computer Music Studio and established the NMC High School Synthesizer Ensemble. In the summer of 1991, he traveled to the Republic of China. In ROC, he led intensive workshops in computer music. These workshops included high school and college composers as well as teachers and other professional musicians.Nelson's computer music specialties include real time interactive performance and "hyperinstruments." This term was coined to give focus to a new way that music is being made in the early 21st century. A hyperinstrument consists of a computer, a set of digital synthesizers, a performance interface, and software for linking them all together. Nelson chooses the MIDI Horn for his solo performances. The MIDI Horn is a digital wind instrument designed and constructed at Oberlin by music engineer, John Talbert. A Macintosh computer, and an array of synthesizers from Yamaha, Roland, and E-mu Systems complete Nelson's concert setup. He has performed more than 200 times around the world since 1987.
In 2000, Nelson began a series of collaborations with painter/photographer/film maker, Christine Gorbach. This work has produced a series of videos that are being exhibited in festivals around the world and on web sites that are devoted to new media.