|Tags:||avant-garde experimental jazz minimalist classical minimalism|
|Decades:||1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s|
Louis Thomas Hardin, 26 May 1916, Marysville, Kansas, USA, d. 8 September 1999, Münster, Germany. This idiosyncratic composer lost his sight at the age of 16 following an accident with a dynamite cap. He was introduced to classical music at the Iowa School for the Blind, studying violin, viola and piano. Hardin moved to New York in 1943, attending rehearsals of the New York Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall, but by the mid-40s he had opted for a life as a street musician. He took the name Moondog in 1947 and established a pitch on the citys fabled Times Square. Such was his fame, Hardin successfully retained this sobriquet after issuing legal proceedings against disc jockey Alan Freed, who had claimed the Moondog name for his radio show. In a manner similar to fellow maverick Harry Partch, Moondog constructed his own instruments, claiming conventional scales could not reproduce the sounds heard in his head. This was immediately...