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La Monte Young
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Composer
    (October 14, 1935- )
    Born in Bern, Idaho
    Avant-garde/minimalist composer
    Plays saxophone, piano and tanpura
    Wrote 'Five Small Pieces for String Quartet' (1956), 'Poem for Chairs, Tables, Benches, Etc.' (1960), 'Compositions 1960' (1960), 'Four Dreams of China' (1962), 'Pre-Tortoise Dream Music' (1964), 'The Well-Tuned Piano' (1964), 'Two Systems of Eleven Categories' (1966), 'The Subsequent Dreams of China' (1980), 'The Big Dream Symmetries' (1988), 'The Prime Time Twins' (1990) and 'Just Charles and Cello in the Romantic Chord' (2003)
    He wrote pieces that require releasing butterflies in the auditorium and 'feeding' a bale of hay to a piano.
    His concert programs included a printed notice: 'The purpose of these concerts is not entertainment.'
    His more ambitious works tended to drone on... and on... and on.
    Several of his works were inspired by his use of LSD, peyote and marijuana.
    He and his wife, light artist Marian Zazeela, follow their own extended sleep-wake cycle of 33-hour 'days.'
    He influenced Yoko Ono.
    He and Zazeela have been married for over 50 years.
    Before going avant-garde, he was a jazz musician who played with Ornette Coleman.
    His works have been influenced by Indian ragas, Japanese gagaku (Imperial court dances) and Indonesian gamelan music.
    His 'The Well-Tuned Piano' was described by the New York Times as 'a watershed event' in the development of late-20th century music.
    He influenced the Velvet Underground and Brian Eno.

Credit: C. Fishel


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