Curriculum Vitae: Ben Leeds Carson

Creative Work and Research


Discography: Classical Record Labels

2010           [from Albany Records] A is for Azimuth and ArnicaMusic for Percussion by Ben Leeds Carson

2009           [Forthcoming 2011 from Centaur Records] Pieces, Threaded, 1999-2009:  Piano Music of Ben Leeds Carson.

Discography: Independent Productions

2011          CD (Rhonda Taylor): Interstice: New Music for Saxophone. [“Lesser Myths: Anonyme,” for solo alto saxophone, is the first of four tracks.]

2009          CD: Anahistoric: Music of Ben Leeds Carson. Live recording (complete) of the of the same name, a Special Event for the Columbia University Music Performance Program. Engineered by Eric Parson and Josephson Studios.

2008          DVD: Takes to the Stage: An experiment in form and memory, for solo cello in concert. Video with animation, featuring cellist Franklin Cox at April in Santa Cruz Festival of Contemporary Music. 62’00”.

2008          CD: “Etude.” In Soundcheck 3: Music from UC San Diego.

2001          CD: Piano Music of Benjamin Carson, 1999-2001. Recorded at Studio A, U.C. San Diego with assistance from the UCSD Center for the Humanities.

Articles in Professional Journals and Other Periodicals

2009           “Schoenberg’s ambivalent thought: subjectivity in ‘Du lehnest wider eine Silberweide…’” In Search Yearbook: Anthology of New Music and Culture, 2009-2010 (New York: Edwin Mellen Press, 2010)

2007           “Perceiving and distinguishing simple timespan ratios without metric reinforcement.” Journal of New Music Research, 36/4 (December 2007), 313-336.

2006           “What are Musical Paradox and Illusion? (Experiments and creative work of Diana Deutsch)” in American Journal of Psychology 120/1 (Spring 2007), 123-139.

2003           “John Adams and a Certain Counterpoint of Contemporary Reasoning: The Los Angeles Philharmonic’s El Niño, March 2003,” Echo V/1 (

2003           [With Christopher Williams] “On the Piano Music of Benjamin Carson: A Correspondence of Essays.” Open Space Magazine 5 (Fall 2003), 231-250.



2010           Unpulser 3.4: An Environment for Pre-compositional Planning and Analysis with Additive Rhythms. With Ian Saxton, 2007-2008, with periodic updates.


2008           “Hearing Time Freely: a computational approach to non-periodic additive rhythms.

for the iPad/iPhone/iPod touch

2010              [with Perre DiCarlo:  The Hippogriff Cookbook ]


Recognized Compositions


Menagerie: for Trumpet and Chamber Orchestra. For Glen Whitehead. Premiered at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs by Glen Whitehead, Rhonda Taylor, Jane Rigler, with UCCS faculty performers.

Coda: ‘You Are Not I.Version for marimba. Premiered by Leah Bowden, May 15, UC Santa Cruz.


Lesser Myths III: Atalune for unspecified instruments. Composed for the occasion of the Columbia University Music Performance Program’s Special Event “Anahistoric: The Music of Ben Leeds Carson” (03/26/09), and performed there in conjunction with other compositions below. 

Syncline and Anticline for saxophone, trumpet, piano, percussion, and contrabass. Headline for “Diversity and Change: 2009 Conference of the International Society for Improvised Music, at Kumbwaa Jazz Center in Santa Cruz, CA.


Mediations/Tenors for vibrophone and marimba. Commissioned by the Georgia Institute of Technology Percussion Ensemble. Performed by Ian Antonio and Russell Greenberg at SUNY Stony Brook (03/09/09), Columbia University (03/26/09), UCSC’s “April in Santa Cruz” Festival (04/15/09), and for the Islip Arts Council on Long Island (06/07/09). Released December 2010 by Albany Records

A is for Azimuth and Arnica, for one percussionist. Commissioned by Chris Froh of San Francisco Sound. Performed by Chris Froh at Classical at the Freight (Berkeley, CA 05/27/09), Davis/Sacramento Percussion Concert (CSU Sacramento, CA, program included). Performed (separately) by Ian Antonio and by Russell Greenberg, at the 2nd Annual You Are Here Festival (Brooklyn, NY 09/22/09), and recorded by Aiyun Huang (Montreal, QB 09/26/09). Released December 2010 by Albany Records.

Works for singing contrabassist: “Magpie”, Cold On Him”, and “I cannot walk in the solitude of night…” Performed at Columbia University (03/26/09), at the Gerngesehen Festival in Cologne (05/08/09), at the monthly Electric Possible sonic art show in Washington D.C. (06/10/09), at the Panic Research Gallery space (6/14/09), and at the annual conference of the International Society of Bassists at Pennsylvania State University Harrisburg (06/08/09).

Lesser Myths I: Anonyme, for solo saxophone. Commissioned by Rhonda Taylor. Performed at Columbia University (03/26/09), and at UCSC’s April in Santa Cruz Festival of Contemporary Music (04/05/09) 


Pieces, Theaded, for piano:  i. A pulse and a Perónist [1’30”], ii. Sixty long years later [2’40”], iii. Biene Herz [5’40”]. Premier (05/14/08): UCSC’s “April in Santa Cruz” Festival; forthcoming from Centaur Records 2011.

Takes to the Stage for solo cello. Commissioned by Franklin Cox. Premier (05/29/07): UCSC’s “April in Santa Cruz” festival.


Arionanum [11’00”] for contrabass with violin, harmonium, and harpsichord. Commissioned 2001 by La Banda Bastarda (premiered 2001). Revised.

Two Manyoshu Fragments, for bel canto tenor solo and 12-15 voices. Commissioned 2001 by Charon Rosner. Revised.
























Anahistoric [10’30”] for cello, three voices, and two percussionists with celeste and self-amplified electronic keyboards. Commissioned by UC Davis’ Empyrean Ensemble. Premier (05/15/05): UC Santa Cruz “Pacific Rim” festival. Revision for  Yarn/Wire [Score: Item 6b, CD: Item 6a, track 1], performed 03/26/09 at Columbia University and 04/15/09 at the “April in Santa Cruz” Festival of Contemporary Music by Yarn/Wire. 

“Fors Seulement, fors seulement condition…” for piano, premiered by Carson at UCSC’s April in Santa Cruz Summer Institute for Contemporary Piano Performance (08/12/04) by John Mark Harris (institute faculty member). Revised score performed by Jacob Rhodebeck at Columbia University (03/26/09), and at UCSC’s April in Santa Cruz festival (04/15/09). Performed at New England Conservatory’s Summer Institute for Contemporary Piano Performance (08/12/04) by John Mark Harris (institute faculty member). Revised score performed by Jacob Rhodebeck at Columbia University (03/26/09), and at UCSC’s April in Santa Cruz festival (04/15/09). 

“When all of us find peace, there will be time for other things,” for tenor saxophones and unspecified rhythm section. Commissioned by HDKKR (Lindsay Vickary and Darren Moore). Performed by Sylvain Carton, Joel Ford, Patrick Richey, and Ben Carson at the “April in Santa Cruz” festival (5/21/06).


“Detáler,” for contrabass and eight instruments. Performed by Christopher Williams, Aiyun Huang, Jeff NEvin, Ivan Manzanilla, Yvonne Lee, Susan Ung, Geoffrey Gartner, Robert Zelickman, and conducted by Harvey Sollberger (11/9/02) at UC San Diego’s New Music Forum.


Persistent Names of Lost Spaces”, performed by John Mark Harris (03/26/01) at the Spring Festival of New Music at UC San Diego.

Plain Clothes Cop,” performed by John Mark Harris at UC San Diego (04/10/00) and at State University of New York, Buffalo’s 25th-Anniversary June in Buffalo Festival of Contemporary Music (06/14/00).


Coda: ‘You Are Not I’”, performed by John Mark Harris (6/14/00) at State University of New York, Buffalo’s 25th-Anniversary June in Buffalo Festival of Contemporary Music (06/14/00).


“Tenors/Mediations” for vibraphone, marimba, and miscellany; commissioned by Steve Schick, performed (1998) with Red Fish Blue Fish, University of California at San Diego.

“Pari Passu” (revised 2000), for two violins, viola, and two cellos, premiered at Round Top International Festival Institute by Jorja Fleezanis, Laura Park (soloists), and Harvey Sollberger (Summer 1999). 

Selected Public Lectures, Symposia, and Conference Presentations

















Lecture: “Pulsedness and Unpulsedness: an Algorithmic Approach,” at the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler (Berlin DE, May 16)

Lecture: “Pulsedness and Unpulsedness: an Algorithmic Approach,” at the Academy of Performing Arts (Prague CZ, May 6)

Panel discussion: “John Cage and the Art of Indeterminacy” New School for Social Research (New York NY, March 23)

Lecture: “Toward a Radical Empirical Music,” Lecture Series: Focus on Composition, Department of Music at UC San Diego (La Jolla CA, March 15)

Lecture: “Indeterminacy, Radical Empiricism, and Algorithmic Approaches to Rhythm,” New School for Social Research (New York NY, March 23)

Lecture: “Toward a Radical Empirical Music,” Northwestern University Department of Music (Chicago IL, April 5)

Voice and Pulse. Lecture presented to the Arts Faculty Forum Series at Oregon State University, Corvallis, and at the Music Department “Focus” series, at Willamette University, March 29, 2009.

Lecture: “Schoenberg’s Compositional Economy.” Columbia University Music Theory Colloquium, February 25.

Lecture: “Mathematical Determinants of Unpulsedness.” Columbia University Electroacoustic Composition Seminar, March 2.

Lecture: “Hearing Time Freely: Explorations of Rhythmic Heterarchy.” Current Issues Colloquium, UCSC Department of Music. May 8.


“Perceiving and distinguishing simple timespan ratios without metric reinforcement.” Read at the annual national conference of the Society for Music Theory. Baltimore, November 15-18.


“Stream Segregation and Rhythm Perception.” Read at the Psychonomic Society’s “Auditory Perception, Cognition, and Action” Meeting. Toronto, November 10.


Lecture-recital “Subjectivity and Collectivity in Late 20th-Century Piano Music.” Musicological Society of Australia’s Music and Social Justice Conference.  Sydney Conservatory, October 2.


Lecture “Compositional Economy and Self-Identical Bodies in New Music.” Oakes College, UC Santa Cruz: Cultural Studies Colloquium, May 26.


“Subjectivity and Action in Schoenberg’s ‘Du lehnest wider eine Silberweide…’” Read at the California Chapter meeting of the American Musicological Society. Stanford University.


“Rhythm and Stream Segregation: a Multi-dimensional Approach.” Read at the Society for Music Perception and Cognition  meeting at Toronto 2000: Musical Intersections, November 1-5. [A joint international conference of the AMS, CMS, SE, and SMT.]


Selected Activities as a Performer







Pieces, Threaded: complete set in (piano) recital, with readings. Academy of Performing Arts. May 9, Prague, Czech Republic.

“Quartet for Strangers,” New School for Social Research / iLand Interdisciplinary Laboratory for Art, Science and Dance (New York NY, March 23). With Ivan Raykoff.

Subjectivity and Collectivity in Music for the Piano. Music of Rick Burkhardt, Fredric Rzewksi, and Ben Carson. Sydney Auditorium, for the Musicological Society of Australia. October 1, 2005.



Anahistoric (see “Compositions” above). Guest conductor with the Empyrean Ensemble, performing April in Santa Cruz, 2005 


Quintet for Piano and Strings Op. 114 in A Major “The Trout,” Franz Schubert. May 2003, with members of the La Jolla Symphony.

HDDKR, Lindsay Vickary. Pianist, with winds and percussion trio.  November 16, 2002. San Diego, California.

Conductor/Artistic Direction: Amahl and the Night Visitors. Claremont Small Opera. December 20, 2002. Claremont, California.


Kaffe Cantata (Schlendrian), J.S. Bach. Baritone soloist, March 2002, with University of California at San Diego’s “La Banda Bastarda.”

Artistic director, harpsichord soloist and other continuo work:  music of Campra, Mondonville, Monteverdi, Biber, Hottetterre, Morita, and Bach, with “La Banda Bastarda.” [David Ryther, Charon Rosner, and Fiona Chatwin, co-directors] November 2001, San Diego, CA.


Cadenza Arioso, Harvey Sollberger. Harpsichord soloist with the La Jolla Symphony. March 2000. Performances of music of Vivaldi, Bach, Walton, Bolles, Schoenberg, Webern, Strauss, with the La Jolla Symphony. October 2000-2002.





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