University of California Santa Cruz’s Professor of Music Amy C. Beal releases new biography on elusive composer Lucia Dlugoszewski

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Terrible Freedom
The Life and Work of Lucia Dlugoszewski

“An illuminating biography of an elusive figure whose music was nonetheless firmly
embedded in modern dance and the American artistic avant-garde. The book is a
fascinating and distinctive contribution to the crucial historical recovery of women’s
musical lives.”—Marian Wilson Kimber, University of Iowa

“The first full-length study of this poet, composer, and choreographer who attracted the
admiration of the numerous A-list composers and critics filling our music history books, but
who has herself been almost completely absent from the historical record. Beal allows her
complex subject to be multidimensional and fully human.”—Denise Von Glahn, author of The Sounds of Place: Music and the American Cultural Landscape, winner of the ASCAP-
Deems Taylor Award

From her childhood in Detroit to her professional career in New York City, American
composer Lucia Dlugoszewski (1925–2000) lived a life of relentless creativity as a poet and
writer, composer for dance, theater, and film, and, eventually, choreographer. Forging her
own path after briefly studying with John Cage and Edgard Varèse, Dlugoszewski tackled
the musical issues of her time. She expanded sonic resources, invented instruments,
brought new focus to timbre and texture, collaborated with artists across disciplines, and
incorporated spiritual, psychological, and philosophical influences into her work.
Remembered today almost solely as the musical director for the Erick Hawkins Dance
Company, Dlugoszewski's compositional output, writings on aesthetics, creative
relationships, and graphic poetry deserve careful examination on their own terms within
the history of American experimental music.

Amy C. Beal is Professor of Music at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and the author of
New Music, New Allies: American Experimental Music in West Germany from the Zero Hour to
Reunification, Carla Bley, and Johanna Beyer.

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