The Code Blog

All About Steve
Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Steve Horowitz is a creator of odd but highly accessible sounds and a diverse and prolific musician. Steve's 30-year career integrates his experiences as a band leader with his explorations as a multi faceted composer. Horowitz has a large catalog of music for traditional and unusual ensembles such as: string quartet, woodwind quartet, orchestra, Disklavier, solo contrabass flute, large electro-acoustic chamber ensemble and his band the Code International.

Horowitz studied at the California Institute of the Arts with Mel Powell, Morton Subotnick , Micheal Jon Fink and Stephen "Lucky" Mosko. He also lectures at various schools including New York University, California Institute of the Arts, and Berklee College of Music in Boston and has received performance underwriting as well as commissions from: Meet the Composer Fund (1992 at the Lab SF, & 2005 at the Kitchen NYC); Amsterdam Fund for the Arts NL (2000 for ensemble tour); Fund for the Interactive Sound Arts Netherlands (1997, Graphic scores Mousetrap Quartet); Gravy Train Dance Company (1984 Choreographer Jo Ann Nerenberg); The Alternate Currents Ensemble (1994 Ribbon of Extremes); Music at the Anthology (MATA, executive producer Phillip Glass 2003 "Vertical Field Horizontal Field" for String Orchestra and Piano performed by SONYC, featuring soloist Joel Wizansky on piano), The Astoria Symphony (Mix Re-Mix, World Premire) and the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble.

Touring projects in the US and the abroad have helped to form Horowitz's unique perspective and voice. Horowitz and his music have appeared at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, The Bimhuis in Amsterdam, and The Miller Theater and The Kitchen in NYC. He frequently collaborates with other artists - joining forces with an eclectic variety of musicians such as electric guitar wizards Fred Frith, Elliott Sharp and Henry Kaiser, saxophone greats Lenny Pickett and Ralph Carney, The Clubfoot Orchestra, Glen Spearman, acoustic bassist Tatsu Aoki, and the Balkan music ensemble Zhaba.

Horowitz's persistent musical themes: the intertwining of electric and acoustic instruments, new forms, extended techniques, interactivity, music for picture, theater and live performance. Drawing on a finely honed sense of humor, Steve looks deeply into the sociological filter and re-examines pop culture's presentation of "truth" as entertainment.

In addition to his work in chamber and concert music, Horowitz writes music for dance, film, television, cartoons, and interactive media (video games). Steve wrote the score to the award winning film Super Size Me and served as music supervisor and lead composer for the television show I Bet You Will (MTV). Horowitz's audio expertise was honored in 1996 with a Grammy award for his engineering work on the compact disc "True Life Blues, the Songs of Bill Monroe", winner of the best Bluegrass album 1996, and in 2003 with a Webby for his work with Nickelodeon Digital. Horowitz has been featured in Bass Player magazine (May, 2007) and books The Art of Digital Music and The Guerilla Guide to the Music Business. Steve can be found working and touring with his various projects, and has released 16 albums to date. For more info and music clips check out
MUSIC IS GOOD (an influential manifesto by Fluffy Schwartz)
Thursday, February 25, 2010
MUSIC IS GOOD (an influential manifesto by Fluffy Schwartz)

There have been a lot of influential Manifestos written over the years.The Communist Manifesto, for example, one of the world's most influential political manuscripts, or so it says on Wikipedia. There is also the S.C.U.M. Manifesto, which for those of you not in the know, has nothing to do with cleaning the bathroom. I can only hope that my Manifesto, herby known as THE MUSIC IS GOOD MANIFESTO can one day reach those lofty heights. I suppose that in order to do so, I must spurn you to some sort of action that creates a phenomenon. Or maybe even a sensation. Although, I am not sure you can have one without the other. OK...Am I making any sense here?

Stick with me....

Music is good, or at least that is what it says at the top of the page. Music is, in fact, one of the goodest things I know, or have known or am likely to know in the future. I know, I know, hold on, you are really looking for a deep and thoughtful manifesto type statement, and you are thinking to yourself right about now that, maybe this is not it. Fair enough, maybe you are right, but consider this, maybe music really is good? OK, so music is good, so what, well done, rock on dude, but are there some things that are even better? Well, that is a good question, way to throw a wrench into my whole manifesto here Einstein. How about this, maybe we should compare some well known, commonly agreed upon good things and see how music stacks up, put my theory to the test so to speak, read on....

Sex, what about sex, sex is always a good way to start a revolution. Sex is the best, at least, that is what a whole lot of people who have it say. Usually they say it afterwards, but sometime they say it before and even in some rare cases, during. So, if we agree that sex is rad, maybe better than music, then why worry about music and my whole manifesto falls. Well, good question.

Now, consider this, in some cases, music lasts longer than sex, although in the case of a Webern piano piece that would be sad if true. Furthermore, you play music in public and mostly with sex, not so much. I know, some people like to do the public sex things and that is great for them, so in that case maybe sex is better then music. You know, it strikes me, that having sex while listening to music is also a good thing; maybe that combines the best of both worlds. Interesting, ok, ignore my opening statement, let's now change it to HAVING SEX WHILE LISTENING TO MUSIC IS GOOD, satisfied now?

By the way, Food is also good, really they have a whole channel for it on cable television these days. Chopped this & cake that, throw down and such stuff. So maybe food is better than music too? Although, there has been a lot of talk these days about obesity and that is not good, that is too much of a good thing. Interesting, can you have too much music, could that be a bad thing? I am really not sure. Now the esteemed composer, Morton Feldman has a six-hour string quartet. That is the gift that keeps on giving, that lasts, but it also makes the players have to go to the hospital after wards, so maybe that is not such a good thing after all. Also, who can listen for six hours straight, I would fall asleep, and maybe that is good because I often need a nap. So in this case, without revocation, I can definitely say that I am not quite sure which is better music or food. Although, if I were to bring only one to a deserted island I would probably choose the food on practical grounds, although again, thinking outside the box, if I brought a live string quartet to the island with me I could eat them in a pinch. Now based on the last paragraph you might think I am going to say that eating food, while having sex and listening to music is good, but really, I am not going there.

So, why stop now, let's do some more mental gymnastics shall we? What about drugs? Drugs are good, like in that movie "Spinal tap" when the keyboard players says "I suppose if I had sex and drugs I could probably do without rock & roll" maybe that sums it all up. Music is OK if you are not starving & sleepy or sex-deprived and especially if you have some good meds to get you thru. Interesting point of view, I do know for a fact that taking certain drugs while listening to music is good, so maybe after all, that is the best. But, what about the munchies, that brings the food right back into it, man, it is hard to keep track of all this stuff, my head is starting to hurt. How are you doing?

Drugs can be used to heal the body and the mind and so can music. I know a music therapist or two that swear by it. So maybe we don't really need drugs after all, maybe we can replace drugs with music in all cases. For example, during a root canal we can listen to Bob Marley instead of taking that lip numbing stuff, or absorb some Zappa instead of that hey-I-don't-feel-anything- while-you-cut-into-me-during-gall-bladder-surgery stuff they use. Interesting, right?

At last, we have reached the basis of my whole manifesto, my call-to-action. Stop eating, stop drinking, stop sleeping and stop having sex without music. Do them all, in fact, do everything while listening to music and do them simultaneously as much as possible. Music is good, and even better when combined with all the mundane activities of daily life. Why you can.....

OK, now, hold on, Wait a minute, time out, just had a thought, funny but, that sounds kind of like a personal listening devise like an mp3 player. You know how everyone wears them all over the place these days and listens to music while they do all the regular stuff in their daily lives and you curse them out because they can't hear anything and walk into traffic and do all sorts of stupid stuff because they are not paying attention. Well it kind of sounds like I am advocating that as a revolutionary call to action. Well that is just silly, very alienating, those people never talk to anyone, they are in a world of their own, nothing can be accomplished that way. Or can it...?

I suppose in closing I would still like the say that MUSIC IS GOOD. Nothing in the words that have come before these, try as they might, have turned my mind from that simple fact. The earth may shake and fire may rain down upon heaven and earth, but nothing can change my mind. In truth, I am not really sure anymore myself, I just know that I have to come at you with a strong point of view or people wont respect me, I watch a lot of Fox News and that is the way it works, trust me. Do you trust me? Or at least still respect me? I guess that is more of a sex question than a music question. Oh no, here we go again.....

New CD is on it's way
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Just finished an awesome recording session at Manhattan Sound with Cellist Dave Eggar. Check out the photo of us with Engineer Rob Carpenter. I am working on music for a new CD of pieces for Disklavier (midi Grand Piano) & solo instruments.

Look for the new CD, due out around halloween....Spooky!