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Arts in Milwaukee

A Public Service Of Milwaukee Artist Resource Network

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Mark Mantel

Mark Mantel (b. 1961), in Milwaukee, WI, got his Ph. D. at the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he was a University Research and Teaching Fellow. David Felder, Burt Levy, and Lejaren Hiller were his primary composition teachers. In addition, his contact with Morton Feldman at SUNY Buffalo has had a signifcant infuence on his musical thought. Mantel's music explores the creation and layering of dense musical materials derived from physical models, text-driven and real-time live electronic elements, "found-objects", and theatre and theatrical elements. Signifcantly, the works of many writers and painters serve as points of departure in much of his music as an attempt to explore artistic processes closely associated with other disciplines. Improvisation, formally, spontaneously, and structurally, plays a substantive role in defning his music. He has written for dance, experimental theatre, multimedia, cross-disciplinary collaborations, and the orchestra, as well as traditional chamber ensembles, electronic and tape media. He made his European conducting debut at Darmstadt in 1992, and remains active as a conductor and improviser. His music has been heard at various concert halls, galleries, performance spaces and alternative sites throughout the United States, Japan, Australia, and Europe. Since his arrival back in Milwaukee, he has curated a number of interdisciplinary performances of his own music at The Sugar Maple, and taken part in musical performances at UWM and Woodland Pattern, including the recent John Cage Centennial. He has also produced his "Machine Gun" series, an overtly antiwar/propeace series at The Translator Lab. These works are collaborative pieces with painters, poets, video artists and musicians (improvised and scored music) that address issues of our war based society and it's ramifcations. He is currently working on an opera, "2100", involving multiple stages, flm, video sculpture, and multiple ensembles concerned with the Industrial Revolution, automation, and the precarious nature of humanity.