Seminar on composing Visual Music

Friday, February 14, 2014
Location & Time: 

Moss Arts Center - Learning Studio (3:00pm)

Maurice Wright presents a seminar about composing visual music, geared for students and faculty interested in the integration of art and technology. He will talk about his use of the programs Csound and Povray to create visual music works in which images complement and explicate the musical sounds in a composition. He will also talk about tonality and narrative as organizing principles in his recent work.


Maurice Wright was born in 1949 in Front Royal, Virginia, a small town situated between the forks of the Shenandoah River near the Blue Ridge Mountains. He received a doctoral degree from Columbia University, where he explored diverse interests that included music composition, computer science and film.

He has been commissioned by outstanding ensembles and soloists across the United States, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Emerson String Quartet, the American Brass Quintet, the Riverside Symphony, and the Berkshire Music Festival at Tanglewood. The American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Fromm Music Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts have recognized and supported his work. Six CD recordings on New World, Innova and CRI include his compositions.  He is Laura H. Carnell Professor of Music Composition at Temple University's Boyer College Of Music and Dance. 

His interests in image surfaced into two electronic operas: The Trojan Conflict (1989), and Dr. Franklin, an opera about Benjamin Franklin, produced in Philadelphia in 1990 as part of the Electrical Matter Festival. In both works a video screen was embedded in the set, and short scenes written and directed by Wright were integrated into the operatic fabric. He began experimenting with visualization of musical sound and with digital animation, making his first professional presentation as an animator in 1996.  Since then his visual music works have garnered wide acclaim, chosen by juries for the Society for ElectroAcoustic Music in the US (SEAMUS), and for the International Computer Music Conferences in Dennmark and Great Britain. Most recently he composed and produced an opera featuring robots and humans, GALATEA_RESET, in collaboration with Rolf Lakaemper. Read more about his work at