Eleanor Hovda: If Tigers Were Clouds

If Tigers were Clouds… then reverberating, they would create all songs was developed in collaboration with Zeitgeist during a Music in Motion Residency based at the Fleisher Art Memorial in Philadelphia. We met for two separate week-long sessions (in September and December, 1993) and during that time I was able to work with Zeitgeist in a process similar to that of a choreographer making a dance “on” a specific group of dancers. This process allowed us to make a piece that is what it is because [Zeitgeist] and I spent many hours together working, talking, eating, and
playing during those times.

The title is a thought arrived at in a collaborative instant with composer David Gilbert at least 25 years ago. It suddenly came back to me as I was scoring this piece for Zeitgeist. This piece is very much about reverberation, resonances, and the sonic energy of pitches and their overtones. Tigers and clouds suggest strength, mystery, elusiveness, and can evoke magical imaginary worlds in children and adults.”

— Eleanor Hovda

The music of composer and dancer, Eleanor Hovda (1940 to 2009), has been performed extensively in the United States and abroad at such venues and events as Tanglewood, the Bang on a Can Festival, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center (several venues), Miller Hall (Manhattan School of Music), Merkin Hall and the Kitchen (Manhattan), The Strathmore (Maryland), the Alternative Museum (online), Purcell Room (London), the American Academy (Rome), the American Center (Paris), the WDR (Cologne), Cerventino Festival and the New Music Forum (Mexico), Holland Festival (Amsterdam), and at colleges and universities such as princeton, Harvard, Yale, and Columbia. The many other cities in which Hovda’s music has been performed include Vienna, Madrid, Barcelona, Tokyo, and Asahikawa. A collaboration with Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project resulted in a premiere at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1997 and a subsequent national tour.

Her stature as a composer has resulted in performances and commissions by such prominent ensembles as the Netherlands Wind Ensemble, KlangForum (Vienna), the Cassatt and Kronos string quartets, Zeitgeist New Music Ensemble (Minneapolis), Bang on a Can All-Stars, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, the Boston Musica Viva, the California Ear Unit, and the St. Louis Symphany Orchestra.

Hovda has held academic appointments as Professor and Composer-in-Residence at such institutions as Princeton, Yale, and Bard College. Music and dance appointments include residencies at Sarah Lawrence College, Wesleyan University, the College of St. Scholastica, and the American Dance Festival.

This celebrated composer and dancer earned her Bachelor of Arts in music at American University in Washington, D.C. and her Master of Fine Arts in Dance at Sarah Lawrence College.

If Tigers Were Clouds appears on Zeitgeist’s album If Tigers Were Clouds (innova recordings, 2003)

Buy the album: 
Innova Recordings
and at Studio Z