La Monte Young papers, 1959-2006

Finding aid prepared by Performing Arts Library staff; reprocessed by Kelly Kress, 2016; machine-readable finding aid created by Caroline Cubé.
UCLA Library Special Collections
Room A1713, Charles E. Young Research Library
Box 951575
Los Angeles, CA, 90095-1575
(310) 825-4988
spec-coll@library.ucla.edu
Finding aid last updated 2 September 2016.


Title: La Monte Young papers
Collection number: PASC-M 100
Contributing Institution: UCLA Library Special Collections
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 0.5 linear ft. (1 box)
Date (inclusive): 1959-2006
Abstract: Selected compositions, writings, correspondence, and publicity related to musical programs and other performance events of composer La Monte Young and his wife and collaborator, the artist Marian Zazeela. Many items autographed by Young and Zazeela to Robert Stevenson or John Vincent, former music professors at UCLA.
Language of Materials: Materials are in English.
Physical Location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.
Creator: Young, La Monte

Restrictions on Access

COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

RESTRICTED ACCESS: Use of audio material requires production of listening copies.

UCLA Catalog Record ID

UCLA Catalog Record ID: 3677791 

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], La Monte Young Papers (Collection PASC-M 100). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, University of California, Los Angeles.

Biography

La Monte Young is a composer and artist known for his works in minimalism and Western drone music, including The Second Dream of the High-Tension Line Stepdown Transformer and The Well-Tuned Piano. Born on Oct. 14, 1935 in a Bern, Idaho log cabin, he was fascinated at a young age by hearing the wind blow around his home and other continuous, droning sounds. Young grew up primarily in Los Angeles and Utah, and attended Los Angeles City College before finishing undergraduate studies at UCLA in 1958. As a high school student, he played saxophone and was active in the Los Angeles jazz community. While at Los Angeles City College, Young studied with Leonard Stein, a former assistant to Arnold Schoenberg, and learned Schoenberg's influential twelve-tone technique. Young was also exposed to Indian music, gamelan, and other Eastern sounds while a student at UCLA. In the summer of 1959, Young studied with Karlheinz Stockhausen in Darmstadt, Germany, where he encountered the music of John Cage, and also met Cage's friend and collaborator David Tudor. Young returned to California for graduate school at UC Berkeley, where he was a pupil of Seymore Shifrin, and then relocated to New York City to study electronic music with Richard Maxfield at the New School for Social Research.
Young remained in New York to work as a freelance composer, performer, lecturer, and teacher. In 1962 he conceptualized Dream House, a light and sound installation he intended as a "living organism with a life and tradition of its own." Young founded the Theatre of Eternal Music with a group of artists and musicians to realize Dream House and other pieces. Among his collaborators was Marian Zazeela, a painter and light artist he married in 1963, as well as Tony Conrad, John Cale, and Terry Riley. Since 1970, Young and Zazeela have presented a series of semi permanent Dream House installations at various locations in the United States and Europe, including at their loft in New York City. The New York installation is now supported by the MELA Foundation, a multidisciplinary arts organization established in 1985. Young and Zazeela founded the Just Alap Raga Ensemble, a Hindustani classical music ensemble, with Korean artist and musician Jung Hee Choi in 2002.

Scope and Content

Selected compositions, writings, correspondence, and publicity related to musical programs and other performance events of composer La Monte Young and his wife and collaborator, the artist Marian Zazeela. Many items are autographed by Young and Zazeela to Robert Stevenson or John Vincent, former music professors at UCLA.

Organization and Arrangement

The collection is organized into the following series:
  • Series 1. Compositions
  • Series 2. Writings of Young and Zazeela
  • Series 3. Publicity
  • Series 4. Correspondence
  • Series 5. Writings about Young and Zazeela
  • Series 6. Audiovisual material

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Music--20th century.

Container List

 

Compositions. Series 1. 1959-1967.

Scope and Content

Copies of three of Young's compositions. Vision consists of 20 cards and 11 strips of music notation with instructions.
Box 1, Folder 1

Study 1 for Piano. 1959.

Box 1, Folder 2

Vision. 1959.

Box 1, Folder 3

The Two Systems of Eleven Categories / 1:07:40 AM 3 X 67 - First Revision of "2-3 PM 12 XI 66 - 3:43 AM 28 XII 66 for John Cage" from "Vertical Hearing or Hearing in the Present Tense". 1967.

 

Writings. Series 2. 1963-2004.

Scope and Content

Primarily published writings by Young and Zazeela about their art and work. An Anthology of Chance Operations, edited by Young, is a compilation of writing and composition based on John Cage's concept of indeterminacy.
Box 1, Folder 4

An Anthology of Chance Operations. (Bronx, N.Y. : L. Young & J. Mac Low, 1963). 1963.

Box 1, Folder 5

Lecture 1960. La Monte Young, from Tulane Drama Review, vol. 10, no. 2, 1965.. 1965.

Box 1, Folder 6

Selected Writings. (München : Heiner Friedrich, 1969). 1969.

Box 1, Folder 7

On the Concept of Time and Eternity in our Work. La Monte Young. Marian Zazeela. 1987-2004.. 2004.

 

Publicity. Series 3. 1962-2005.

Scope and Content

Flyers advertise events at UCLA; the Asia House Gallery, Pocket Theatre, and East End Theatre in New York City; and others. MELA materials include 3 program booklets and schedules for events celebrating the organization's 20th anniversary, which coincided with La Monte Young's 70th birthday.
Box 1, Folder 8

Flyers and press clippings. 1962-1968.

Box 1, Folder 9

Press Kit, La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela. 1964-1972.

Box 1, Folder 10

Galerie Heiner Friedrich München - sale catalog. 1970.

Box 1, Folder 11

Celebrating MELA's 20th Year and La Monte Young's 70th. Collection of programs and program notes of concerts and events.. 2005.

 

Correspondence. Series 4. 1959-2006.

Scope and Content

The letter to Gordon Stone concerns a concert Young gave at UC Berkeley including program notes, and a donation of two scores to the UCLA Music Library: Vision, and Study I for Piano. (See Box 1, Folders 11 and 12.) Letters to Stevenson are general updates on Young and Zazela's lives and work.
Box 1, Folder 12

to Gordon Stone, UCLA Performing Arts Special Collections. 1959.

Box 1, Folder 13

to Robert Stevenson. 1971-1973, 2006.

 

Writings about Young and Zazeela. Series 5. 1968, 1996.

Scope and Content

A copy of an interview with LaMonte Young by Richard Kostelanetz, and a full length book exploring Young & Zazeela's work. The book is autographed by Young and Zazeela to Robert Stevenson.
Box 1, Folder 14

Kostelanetz, Richard. The Theatre of Mixed Means; An Introduction to Happenings, Kinetic Environments, and Other Mixed-Means Performances. (New York : Dial Press, 1968.). 1968.

Box 1, Folder 15

William Duckworth and Richard Fleming, eds. Sound and Light : La Monte Young, Marian Zazeela. (Lewisburg, Pa. : Bucknell University Press ; London ; Cranbury, NJ : Associated University Presses, 1996.). 1996.

 

Audiovisual material. Series 6. 1999-2000.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

RESTRICTED ACCESS: Use of audio material requires production of listening copies.

Scope and Content

Three CD recordings, all autographed by Young and Zazeela to Robert Stevenson.
Box 1, Folder 16

The Well Tuned Piano in the Magenta Lights. 81 V 10 6:43:00 PM - 81 VI II 1:07:45 AM NYC.. 2000.

Box 1, Folder 17

The Tamburas of Pandit Pran Nath. An Homage. 1999.

Box 1, Folder 18

Pandit Pran Nath. Midnight. Raga Malkauns. 4 VII 71 SF. 21 VIII 76 NYC. 2002.