Humor is the key to the technically sophisticated sound sculptures of Omaha-born and San Francisco-based Jay Cloidt. Splicing together digitally sampled deconstructions of classical and pop references, Cloidt creates pieces that have provoked comparisons with Spike Jones, Charles Ives, Igor Stravinsky, and P.D.Q. Bach. His compositions have been commissioned and recorded by the Kronos Quartet and the Paul Dresher Ensemble. The recipient of a Masters degree in Electronic Music and Recording Media from the Mills College Center for Contemporary Music in Oakland, California in 1981, Cloidt launched his career as keyboardist for a variety of pop and rock bands. Turning to composition in 1979, he had his first success when the Kronos Quartet commissioned him to write "Kole Kat Krush" in 1989. The piece, which incorporated snippets by Stravinsky, Beethoven, Eric Clapton, and Sly Stone, was later performed by the Kronos Quartet as the title track of Cloidt's debut album a decade later. Cloidt's collaboration with Dresher began, in 1990, when he served as sound designer/engineer of an opera, Pioneer, written by Dresher, Rinde Eckert, John Duykes, Jo Harvey Allen, and Terry Allen, and performed by a band featuring Dresher on bass and guitar and Philip Aaberg on keyboards. Five years later, Cloidt was commissioned to write "Life Is Good" for the Paul Dresher Ensemble. Cloidt has also composed pieces for the Margaret Jenkins and G. Palmer dance companies.
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