Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Joel Chadabe, Explorer of Electronic Music’s Frontier, dies at 82

Joel Avon Chadabe was born on December 12, 1938 in the Bronx and grew up in the vicinity of Throgs Neck. 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 had hoped that he would become a lawyer, but rather he studied music at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and studied in 1959. At Yale he studied with the composer Elliott Carter, and after a 1962 a obtained a master’s degree, he studies prosecute his study with mr. Carter in Italy. He was in Rome when he heard of an unusual job at SUNY Albany.

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

When he got older, Mr. Chadabe became a passionate environmentalist, starting in 2006 with the Over to Earth music festival, which features performances of electronic music with the theme around nature. At the festival in New York that year, one composition had the rustling of pine beetles and the other used a sound image of the city’s pigeons.

Mr. Chadabe retired from SUNY Albany in the late 1990’s, but continued to teach electronic music at the Manhattan School of Music, New York University, and Bennington College, where he had taught since the 1970s.

In his early 70s, Mr. Chadabe remained teased by the possibilities of electronic music, the potential of which, according to him, was only understood.

“Electronics has opened up a wonderful world of sound and more than just a wonderful world of sound, a wonderful way to understand sound,” he said in 2013. ‘We’re starting to understand really well how sound works and how we can transform it. ”

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