Thursday, September 19, 2024


with Mike Ross + Michael Roux at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts Stage 5 (reading, early)

with Six Organs of Admittance + Matt Talbott at Channing Murray Foundation (performance, late)

Mikel Rouse is a New York-based composer, director, performer and recording artist hailed as “a composer many believe to be the best of his generation.” (NY Times) His works include 37 records, 7 films, and a trilogy of media operas: Failing Kansas, Dennis Cleveland and The End Of Cinematics. His work has frequently appeared on Top Ten lists around the country.

In 1995, he premiered and directed the first opera in his trilogy: Failing Kansas, inspired by Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. This led to an emerging art form he calls “counterpoetry,” which involves the use of multiple unpitched voices in counterpoint. In 1996 he premiered and directed the modern talk show opera Dennis Cleveland, hailed by The Village Voice as “the most exciting and innovative new opera since Einstein on the Beach”. The third opera in his trilogy, The End Of Cinematics, was presented at the BAM Next Wave Festival in 2006.

An innovator in arts technology, he was the first Visiting Research Artist at the Center for Super Computing Applications in Urbana Il. Music for The Merce Cunningham Dance Company’s eyeSpace premiered in NYC in October 2006. The piece was scored for multiple iPods set to “shuffle” so that each audience member had a different realization of the score. The music for the piece, International Cloud Atlas, was released on iTunes and was available for download prior to the premiere.

Recent premieres include the song cycle Gravity Radio at BAM’s next Wave Festival (2010) and The Demo, a techno opera based on Douglas Engelbart’s landmark 1968 computer demo, at Stanford Live, CA (2015). In 2016 he released Metronome-Take Down hailed by Pitchfork as “Slippery like Radiohead’s “Daydreaming”—and as chaotically clattering as work by Oneohtrix Point Never—it reestablishes Rouse’s brilliance.” He is currently working on the 13 hour music installation piece One Boy’s Day, based on a 1940’s behavioral study. In spring 2024, Rouse released the album Language Barrier. Also in spring 2024, University of Illinois Press published Rouse’s memoir: The World Got Away.