C. Bryan Rulon

Anti-Silence for Woodwind Quintet and Computer Playback (2003-2004)

AntiSilence was commissioned by Quintet of the Americas with funding provided by the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust. It was premiered April 21, 2004 at Merkin Concert Hall at the Kaufman Center in NYC. Bryan Rulon wrote: “AntiSilence is broadly a comment on emotional silence.  The wind players are invited to participate in this work along a spectrum that transverses a path from interpretation of notated ideas through structured improvisation all the way to spontaneous extemporization. As their involvement in more fundamental aspects of choice making increases, so too does their personal investment and responsibility. I’d like to think that, with this piece listening habits are challenged and conventions are transgressed and subverted. This is one of my ideals for all works of art.”

In the score Bryan wrote “Classically trained professional musicians usually spend a good deal of time perfecting a particular sound and mode of expression. It has a depth and breadth that can occupy a musician for a lifetime. In Anti-Silence I’m asking the players to take a leap of faith and engage in more fragile, vulnerable ways or producing sounds and expressing musical ideas. At first it may seem awkward, perhaps even ugly. As the player searches for graceful, comfortable and meaningful ways of expressing the music I am after, he/she will hopefully discover ways of integrating these sounds into his/her definition of that which is beautiful. This leap of faith can be thought of as navigating the surface of something bigger than ones self metaphorically akin to surfing, skating, hang gliding etc. “

Quintet Two Plus One for Quintet and Synthesizer

Woodwind Quintet (1982)

Quintet of the Americas oboist Matt Sullivan introduced the group to Bryan Rulon. Matt performed with Bryan in an electro-acoustic improvisation ensemble called First Avenue.

Mr. Rulon (1954-2015) studied piano in Indiana as a child. He studied composition and electronic music with John Eaton, Frederick A. Fox, and Bernhard Heiden  at Indiana University in Bloomington from 1972–80, where he received his BM in composition and his double MM with distinction in composition and electronic music. He later studied at Princeton University and there earned his PhD in composition in 1995.

Among his honours are First Prize at the National College Dance Festival (1984, for his dance music to Corporate Whimsy), the Harvey Gaul Prize from the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble (1988), finalist in the competition Olympia in Athens (1990), a fellowship grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (1994), a commission from the Fromm Foundation (1995), a commission from Chamber Music America (1996), and the Guggenheim Fellowship (1996).

He served as director of the Electronic Music Ensembles of Indiana University from 1977–80. As the keyboardist specializing in live synthesizer performance, he then co-founded with oboist Matt Sullivan the improvisational live-electronics duo, later a trio with double bassist William Kannar, “First Avenue” in New York, New York in 1982, which was later in residence at Princeton University.

He taught as an associate instructor at Indiana University from 1977–80 and later taught at the Thurnauer School of Music in New Jersey from 1989–91 and at Princeton University in 1993–94.

His music was recorded on the CBS, CRI, Centaur, O.O.Discs, Opus One and Princeton Labels.

For an interview with Tom Moore see