Front cover image for Julius Eastman's 1980 residency at Northwestern University

Julius Eastman's 1980 residency at Northwestern University

A viable analytical framework for Eastman's works draws from the techniques of earlier minimalist theorists, including John Roeder's adaptation of set theory. Crazy Nigger, the earliest and longest of the three works, provides to be the least complex example of Eastman's "vertically additive process." Whereas composer Philip Glass extends an original melodic kernel by adding notes horizontally, Eastman adds notes vertically to create increasingly dense textures. Evil Nigger 's use of the process is more complicated, introducing additional elements such as ostinati and de-emphasizing the kind of sectional form found in Crazy Nigger . In Gay Guerilla, the last of the three works to be composed, Eastman totally obscured any salient perception of form by eliding several simultaneous occurrences of the vertically additive process and introducing a quotation of the Lutheran chorale "Ein feste Burg." With these three analysis, a more generalized concept of Eastman's compositional style thus consists of his vertically additive process, the introduction of modernist harmony into minimalist technique, the use of hendecachords (11-note sets), a gradual dissolution with the sectional form dominant in concert-length minimalist works, and a move away from post-modernity that Eastman termed "organic music."
Thesis, Dissertation, English, 2011
University of Iowa, [Iowa City, Iowa], 2011
University of Iowa
Academic theses
x, 102 pages : music
Thesis supervisor: Marian Wilson Kimber
Thesis supervisor: William Gibbons