Summary Information

Repository
George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine 04011
Creator
Viens, Michael C., 1953-
Title
Michael C. Viens Papers, 1967-2014
ID
M251
Date [inclusive]
1967-2014
Extent
6.0 linear feet.
Language
English

Preferred Citation note

Cite as: Michael C. Viens Papers, George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine.


Historical Note

Michael C. Viens, composer and pianist, was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, on August 3, 1953. Encouraged by his father, Normande, to pursue music at a young age, Viens attended St. John's Preparatory School and then Bowdoin College (Class of 1975). Viens studied composition and theory with Elliot Schwartz at Bowdoin and then completed his Masters in Music at the University of Illinois School of Music. Following his graduate work in Illinois, Viens spent five years in Paris studying under Nadia Boulanger at the Conservatoire Americain at Fountainbleu. While in Paris, several of Viens' works were performed and choreographed at Le Centre d'Art Choreographique de l'Essonne and his song cycle ColorScope was broadcast twice on French National Radio. Mr. Viens' compositions have been featured at concerts throughout the United States, including a June 1994 premiere at Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall of his song cycles Sundown Voyager, StarBlaze, and ColorScope. In 1995 ColorScope for baritone and orchestra was recorded by the Slovak National Radio Orchestra, and in 1997 Les Insectes Dansants was recorded by the Seattle Symphony. Viens' CDs include York, Maine: fin de siecles (1992), Song Cycles (1996), Sundown Voyager (1996), ColorScope (1998) and a self-titled CD with William Thomas McKinley (1998)


Scope and Content Note

The collection contains various drafts of musical compositions (parts and scores), poems, correspondence, copyright agreements, programs, clippings, ephemera, and sound recordings documenting Michael Viens' career as a composer between ca. 1972 and 2014. Final versions and sound recordings of many of these compositions are available in the Bowdoin College Authors Collection. The collection also includes biographical information about Viens, poetry collected by Viens to be used in his compositions, and newspaper clippings concerning the lives of other composers.


Organization and Arrangement

Organized in seven series: Compositions, 1972-1997; Poems, 1972-2002; Correspondence and Agreements, 1979-2001; Programs, 1967-2014; Notebooks, Clippings and Ephemera, 1967-2001; Recordings, 1976-1998; Publications (software), 1982-1984.


Administrative Information

Publication Information

 George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine 04011

3000 College Station
Brunswick, Maine, 04011
(207) 725-3288
scaref@bowdoin.edu

Custodial History note

Gift of Michael C. Viens, 2003-2015.


Controlled Access Headings

Personal Name(s)

  • Viens, Michael C., -- 1953 -- Archives.

Subject(s)

  • Composers -- United States.
  • Composition (Music)
  • Music -- Scores.
  • Performing Arts

Collection Inventory

M251.1: Compositions, 1972-1997   2.5 linear foot.

Arrangement note

Arranged alphabetically.

Scope and Contents note

Material documenting Michael Viens' career as a composer. Includes draft and final versions of "Autumnal Triptych" ,"ColorScope" , "Entretiens" ,"Hummingbirds" ,"In Loving You" ,"Interlude" ,"Kladdenklangen" ,"Les Insectes Dansants" ,"Mongol 482" , "Pareil-non-Pareil" ,"Perpetuum Mobile" ,"Phases of the Heart" ,"Seasons of Love" ,"StarBlaze" , "Summer Fare" ,"Thune" ,"Twilight" , "Ukanos" ,"Voices in the Still" ,"Voli in Primavera and Winter Night" . Final versions and sound recordings of many of these compositions are available in the Bowdoin College Authors Collection. Also included are works dedicated to Michael Viens by other composers.

Box Folder
1 1

Autumnal Triptych drafts, 1988 

Ovsz-Box Folder
Box 1 1

Autumnal Triptych drafts, 1988 

Box Folder
1 2

Autumnal Triptych penultimate, 1991 

1 3

Bittersweet, 1989 

1 4

ColorScope - Amber Ale, 1992 

1 5

ColorScope - Consolation, 1992 

Ovsz-Box Folder
1 2

ColorScope - Consolation, 1992 

Box 1 2

ColorScope - drafts 

Box Folder
1 6

ColorScope - Epilogue, 1992 

1 7

ColorScope - Peach-tart, 1992 

1 8

ColorScope - Prologue, 1992 

Ovsz-Box Folder
Box 1 3

Compositions Dedicated to Michael Viens 

Box Folder
1 9

Consolation, 1992 

1 10

Entretiens, 1979, copy 1 

Ovsz-Box Folder
Box 1 4

Entretiens, 1979, copy 2 

Box Folder
1 11

Hummingbirds, 1997 

1 12

In Loving You 

1 13

Interlude - The Hour, 1989 

Ovsz-Box Folder
Box 1 5

Kladdenklangen, 1979 

Box Folder
1 14

Lament, 1990 

1 15

Les Insectes Dansants, 1994 

1 16

Lonely Twilight 

Ovsz-Box Folder
Box 1 6

Mongol 482 

Box Folder
1 17

Pareil-non-Pareil, 1976 rev. 1978 

Ovsz-Box Folder
Box 1 7

Pareil-non-Pareil drafts 

Box 2 1

Pentaphonia for Woodwind Quintet 

Box Folder
1 18

Perpetuum Mobile, 1979, copy 1 

Ovsz-Box Folder
Box 2 2

Perpetuum Mobile, 1979, copy 2 

Box 2 3

Phantasmagoria 

Box Folder
1 19

Phases of the Heart, 1989 

1 20

Seasons of Love, 1989, copy 1 

1 21

Seasons of Love, 1989, copy 2 

1 22

Seasons of Love, 1989, with stage directions 

1 23

SoundScapes, 1977 

1 24

StarBlaze, 1990, copy 1 

1 25

StarBlaze, 1990, copy 2 

1 26

StarBlaze, 1990, penultimate 

1 27

Storm, 1992 

1 28

Summer Fare, 1991 

Ovsz-Box Folder
Box 2 4

The Mustard Seed 

Box 2 5

Thune 

Box 2 6

Tone Sketch for Guitar Solo 

Box Folder
1 29

Twilight - Hymn to the Night, 1991 

1 30

Twilight - Song, 1992 

1 31

Twilight - Spring (sketch) 

1 32

Twilight - Winter, 1991 

Ovsz-Box Folder
Box 2 7

Ukanos, 1980 

Box Folder
1 33

Voices in the Still, 1991 

1 34

Voices in the Still drafts 

1 35

Voices in the Still - Acceptance, 1991 

1a 1

Voices in the Still - Bereft, 1990 

1a 2

Voices in the Still - Come In, 1991 

1a 3

Voices in the Still - Desert Places, 1990 

1a 4

Voices in the Still - Mezzo soprano, 1991 

1a 5

Voices in the Still - Reluctance, 1991 

Ovsz-Box Folder
2 7

Voies Disparates 

Box Folder
1a 6

Voli in Primavera, 1991 

1a 7

Winter Night, 1991, drafts 

1a 8

Winter Nights, 1991, penultimate copy 1 

Ovsz-Box Folder
Box 2 9

Winter Nights, 1991, penultimate copy 2 

Box Folder
1a 9

Score inventory 


M251.2: Poems, undated   0.5 linear feet.

Arrangement note

Arranged alphabetically.

Scope and Contents note

Includes poetry written by Michael Viens and poems collected by Viens for use in his compositions. His poems are titled "A Fontainebleau," Aeolus," "Aiaie," "Amber Ale," "Awesome Winds," "Bees," "Beguiled," "Color-Scope," "Consolation," Danza macabra," "Early Fantaines," "Elan Vital," "Epilogue," "Femmes Fatales," "Kilaeuea," "Leaping Beauties," "Limelight," "Lustral Waters," "Miami Reverie," Needlepoint," "Oceanus," "Oiseaux lyriques a Fontainebleau," "Peach-Tart," "Pele," "Prolgue," "Ruckus," "The Struggle," and "Yellow-Black Buzz and the Mari-Gold." Also included are undated poems to Rachel and Reverend Brother Nicodemus. Some poems are handwritten, while others are printed copies.

Authors of poems collected by Michael Viens include: e.e. cummings, Emily Dickinson, Hilda Doolittle, Robert Frost, Roland Labrie, Amy Lowell, Edgar Allen Poe, James Whitcomb Riley, Carl Sandburg, Sara Teasdale, Edward di Valli, and Walt Whitman.

Box Folder
2 1

Poems authored by Viens 

2 2

Poems collected by Viens 

Box
3

Poems, floppy disk backups 


M251.3: Correspondence and Agreements, 1971-2001   0.5 linear feet.

Arrangement note

Arranged alphabetically.

Scope and Contents note

Consists primarily of Viens' correspondence with publishing houses and authors seeking permission to use copyrighted materials in his compositions and copyright applications for Viens' compositions. Also includes correspondence with William Thomas McKinley and Maine Composers' Forum director Nick Humez, as well as letters to his parents during his time at Bowdoin and while in France.

Box Folder
2 3

AIDS project correspondence 

2 4

Bowdoin Bicentennial Concert correspondence 

2 5

Copyrights, compositions, A-P 

2 6

Copyrights, compositions, Q-Z 

2 7

Copyrights, poetry, A-G 

2 8

Copyrights, poetry, H-S 

2 9

Copyrights, poetry, T-Z 

2 10

Les Insectes Dansants correspondence 

2 11

Letters of recommendation 

2 12

McKinley correspondence 

2 13

Mailing list 

2 14

Maine Composers' Forum correspondence 

2 15

Pareil-non-Pareil correspondence 

2 15

Personal correspondence 

2 16

University of Illinois correspondence 

2 17

Winter Night correspondence 

2 18

York, Maine: fin de siecles correspondence 


M251.4: Programs, 1967-2014   0.5 linear feet.

Arrangement note

Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Contents note

Consists chiefly of printed programs for Michael Viens' musical concerts, ca. 1967-2002, including materials from France, the University of Illinois, the University of Wisconsin, the University of Southern Maine, Bates College, Bowdoin College, and the Weil Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.

Box Folder
2 19

1967-1979 

2 20

1988-1991 

2 21

1992-1995 

2 22

1996-2014 

Ovsz-Box Folder
2 16

Oversized Programs, 1988-2014 


M251.5: Notebooks, Clippings, and Ephemera, 1967-2001   0.5 linear feet.

Arrangement note

Arranged alphabetically.

Scope and Contents note

Consists primarily of clippings about Michael Viens, including reviews of his live musical performances and recordings. Also included are miscellaneous clippings collected by Viens concerning the lives of composers and friends, as well as several short biographical sketches of Viens and ephemera relating to his trip to Bratislava, Slovakia.

Box Folder
2 23

Biographical Materials 

2 24

Clippings about Viens 

2 25

Clippings collected by Viens 

2 26

Edward di Valli life celebration 

2 27

James Bowdoin Scholar Award 

2 28

Master Musicians' Collective 

2 29

Photographs 

2 30

Robert Casadesus biography 

2 31

Notebooks: harmony lessons with Nadia Boulangier (1 of 3) 

2 32

Notebooks: harmony lessons with Nadia Boulangier (2 of 3) 

2 33

Notebooks: harmony lessons with Nadia Boulangier (3 of 3) 

2 34

Seasons of Love guestbook 

2 35

Travel to Bratislava, Slovakia 


M251.6: Recordings, 1976-1998   1.0 linear foot.

Arrangement note

Arranged by format, then alphabetically by title.

Scope and Contents note

This series contains audio and video recordings made between 1976 and 1998 of Viens' compositions and concerts. Formats include: cassette, CD, DAT, reel-to-reel, and VHS. Published recordings are available in the Bowdoin College Authors Collection.

Box Folder
2

Cassette: Les Insectes Dansantes, 1995 May 4 

2

Cassette: Les Insectes Dansantes, 1995 October 13 

2

Cassette: Premiere of works, tape 1 

2

Cassette: Premiere of works, tape 2 

2

CD: Michael C. Viens and William Thomas McKinley 

2

Song Cycles 

Box
3

CD: Sundown Voyager Song Cycles by Michael C. Viens 

Box Folder
2

CD: York, Maine: fin des siecles 

2

DAT: Live takes, 1990 February 4 

2

DAT: Live takes, 1990 May 1 

2

DAT: Sequenced dub master 

2

Reel-to-reel: ColorScope 

2

Reel-to-reel: Phantasmagoria 

2

Reel-to-reel: Recital - Fondation des Etats-Unis, 1976 February 3, copy 1 

2

Reel-to-reel: Recital - Fondation des Etats-Unis, 1976 February 3, copy 2 

2

Reel-to-reel: Recital - Fondation des Etats-Unis, 1976 February 3, copy 3 

2

Reel-to-reel: Recital - Fondation des Etats-Unis, 1976 February 3, copy 4 

2

VHS: Bonjour!, 1996 

2

VHS: Boston concert 

2

VHS: Bowdoin bicentennial concert 

2

VHS: Olin Arts Center concert 

2

VHS: Portsmouth concert 


M251.7: Publications (software), 1982-1984   0.5 linear feet.

Arrangement note

Arranged alphabetically

Scope and Contents note

Consists of commercial software publications including childrens' learning programs.

Box
3

Spinnaker Delta Drawing Learning Program 

Box Folder
3

Spinnaker Kids on Keys 

3

Spinnaker Kidwriter 

3

Spinnaker Kidwriter drafts 

3

Spinnaker Kinder Comp 

3

Spinnaker Kindercomp