Annea Lockwood

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Annea Lockwood (born July 29, 1939, Christchurch, New Zealand) is a New Zealand born American composer. She taught electronic music at Vassar College.[1] Her work often involves recordings of natural found sounds. She has also recorded Fluxus-inspired pieces involving burning or drowning pianos.

Life and career[edit]

Lockwood studied composition and completed a B.Mus with honors from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand.[2] She studied composition at several institutions around Europe with notable teachers: The Royal College of Music with Peter Racine Fricker (1961–63), the Darmstädter Ferienkurse with Gottfried Michael Koenig (1963–64), the Hochschule für Musik Köln, and also in the Netherlands. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, Lockwood performed and composed around Europe but made London her home, having returned there in 1964.[3] Her compositions feature non-conventional instruments such as glass tubing used in “The Glass Concert” (1967) which was published in Source: Music of the Avant Garde then recorded and released by Tangent records. Her series "Piano Transplants" utilized burning, drowning, or planting pianos in locations in the United Kingdom or United States.[4]

In the 1970s, Lockwood began to compose what could be considered performance art pieces, though her work was still situated in the realm of music; they are considered so because the essence of the compositional ideas made the audience and environment agents in the piece. She was also known to collaborate with various choreographers, sound poets, and visual artists.[5] In 1973, having been invited to teach at Hunter College, Lockwood relocated to New York City. During this time Lockwood worked with environmental sounds, capturing them and building developed compositions around an environmental inspiration: A Sound Map of the Hudson River (1982),[6] World Rhythms (1975), and parts built on of archetypes and conversations with significant people, Conversations with the Ancestors (1979), composed on conversations with 4 women in their eighties, Delta Run (1982, based on a conversation with the sculptor Walter Wincha), One piece, Three Short Stories and Apotheosis (1985) used what Lockwood named the Soundball, which was a foam-covered ball that was made of 6 small speakers and a radio receiver. The impetus for this unusual piece of equipment was to "put sound into the hands of dancers”.[7] In an interview with Peter Shea in 2013, she discussed her development as a composer and work process, particularly the ways she works with the sounds of water.[8] Lockwood's most recent pieces are written for acoustic-electric instruments and incorporate multi-media and indigenous instruments in her compositions: Thousand Year Dreaming (1991) is a work for four didgeridoos and blends images of the Lascaux cave as part of the performance.[9] In 2002, Lockwood began working on her project, A Sound Map of the Danube River, which gathers sounds recorded from a variety of sites on the surface of, within, and around the river. In 2007, Lockwood was a recipient of the Henry Cowell Award for her work.[10]

Her progressive ideas and the breadth of her range is quite vast; from the microtonal, electro-acoustic soundscapes and vocal music, she seems to have explored and expressed previously ignored spaces in modern composition. Her music has been presented at festivals all over the world, including events in Germany, Scandinavia, Italy, Britain, Australia, New Zealand and the U.S. Lockwood has taught since 1982 at Vassar College, where her students have included Jonathan Elliott.[11] She is currently an emeritus professor there, though she still writes and performs. Her recordings are distributed through these labels: Lovely, XI, ?What Next?/OO Discs, Rattle Records (NZ), Harmonia Mundi, Earth Ear, CRI, and Finnadar/Atlantic.

Reviews and articles[edit]


  • Thousand Year Dreaming/Floating World, Pogus 21045-2, 2007
  • 60x60 (2003) Capstone Records CPS-8744
  • Breaking the Surface, Lovely Music, Ltd. CD 2082, 1999
  • World Rhythms, on Sinopah (which also includes Ruth Anderson's, I Come Out of Your Sleep), Experimental Intermedia XI 118, 1998
  • The Glass World, Nonsequitur/?What Next? WN 0021 & O.O. Discs, 1997
  • The Angle of Repose, on Sign of the Times, Thomas Buckner, baritone, Lovely Music, Ltd. CD 3022, 1994
  • Thousand Year Dreaming, Nonsequitur/?What Next? WN 0010 & O.O. Discs 0041, 1993
  • Night and Fog on Full Spectrum Voice, Thomas Buckner, baritone, Lovely Music, Ltd. CD 3021, 1991
  • A Sound Map of the Hudson River, Lovely Music, Ltd. CD 2081, 1989
  • Ear-Walking Woman
  • Sign Of The Times
  • Women in Electronic Music: New Music for Electronic & Recorded Media
  • Nautilus on The Aerial: Issue #2
  • Red Mesa, Loretta Goldberg, keyboards, Opus One 00152
  • Tiger Balm, Opus One 70


  1. ^ Office of Communications. "Annea Lockwood and Friends at Vassar College, April 6". Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  2. ^ Michele (January 31, 2002). Lockwood, Annea [Anna] (Ferguson). London, UK: Oxford University Press. Retrieved April 7, 2017.
  3. ^ "Annea Lockwood". Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  4. ^ Rodgers, Tara. Pink Noises. Duke University Press, 2010, p. 114.
  5. ^ Rodgers, Tara. Pink Noises. Duke University Press, 2010, p. 114.
  6. ^ Annea Lockwood (November 11, 2003). "Annea Lockwood Beside the Hudson River". NewMusicBox (Interview). Interviewed by Frank J. Oteri (published January 1, 2004).
  7. ^ "Annae Lockwood". Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  8. ^ "Annea Lockwood". Archived from the original on 21 February 2014. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  9. ^ "Thousand Year Dreaming / Floating World, Liner notes". Pogus Productions 21045. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  10. ^ "AMACHER, DUNN, AND LOCKWOOD RECEIVE SECOND HENRY COWELL AWARD" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 July 2010. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  11. ^ "Three Young Composers - Vassar, the Alumnae/i Quarterly". Retrieved 2018-02-27.

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