Joel Chadabe, Frontier Explorer of Electronic Music, Dies at 82

Joel Avon Chadabe was born on December 12, 1938 in the Bronx and grew up in the Throgs Neck neighborhood. His father, Solon, was a lawyer. His mother, Sylvia (Cohen) Chadabe, was a homemaker.

Joel attended the private Bentley School in Manhattan and studied classical piano. His parents expected him to become a lawyer, but instead he studied music at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, graduating in 1959. At Yale, he studied with composer Elliott Carter, and after earning a master’s degree in 1962, He continued his studies with Mr. Carter in Italy. He was in Rome when he found out about an unusual job offer at SUNY Albany.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by a son, Benjamin, and a sister, Susan Strzemien.

As he grew older, Chadabe became passionate about the environment and, in 2006, started the Ear to the Earth music festival, which featured electronic music performances on nature-related themes. At the New York festival that year, one composition featured the whisper of pine beetles and another used a soundscape of city pigeons.

Mr. Chadabe retired from SUNY Albany in the late 1990s, but continued to teach electronic music courses at the Manhattan School of Music, New York University, and Bennington College, where he had been teaching as an adjunct since college. 1970s.

Until well into the 70s, Chadabe remained tempted by the possibilities of electronic music, the potential of which he felt was barely understood.

“Electronics has opened up an amazing world of sound, and more than an amazing world of sound, an amazing way to understand sound,” he said in 2013. “We are really starting to get a good understanding of how sound works and how sound works. how can we transform it “.

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