'Blue' Gene Tyranny

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'Blue' Gene Tyranny (born Robert Sheff in 1945 in San Antonio, Texas) is an avant-garde composer and pianist. He studied piano with Meta Hertwig and Rodney Hoare, and composition with Otto Wick and Frank Hughes. He taught at Mills from 1971 to 1982 and also worked at the Center for Contemporary Music at Mills. He moved to New York in 1983 and received a Bessie in 1988 and in 1989 a Composer Fellowship from the NY Foundation for the Arts.

He has toured with the Carla Bley Band and the Prime Movers (which included Iggy Pop and Michael Erlewine) and has performed on albums by Laurie Anderson (Strange Angels), David Behrman (On the Other Ocean), John Cage (Cheap Imitation and Empty Words), and Robert Ashley (Perfect Lives), with whom he frequently collaborates. Tyranny's albums include Country Boy Country Dog (How To Discover Music in the Sounds of Your Daily Life) (1994 Lovely Music LCD 1065) and Free Delivery (1999 Lovely Music LCD 1064).

Tyranny is an editor for All Music Guide, reviewing albums and creating biographies for many notable contemporary artists.

According to Kyle Gann in The Village Voice, Tyranny has "Cecil Taylor's keyboard energy, [and] Morton Feldman's ear. The most original aspect of [his] works is the way they create continuity: they're tonal, yet rigorously asymmetrical. They satisfy the ear without letting it take anything for granted. They evolve...with the labyrinthine irreversibility of deep psychic forces."

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