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
ID
M251
Date [inclusive]
1967-2014
Extent
6.0 linear feet
Language
Abstract
The collection contains 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.

Preferred Citation

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


Biographical/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

The collection contains 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.


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

Provenance

Gift of Michael C. Viens, 2003-2016.


Controlled Access Headings

Subject(s)

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

Collection Inventory

 M251.1 Compositions, 1972-1997   2.5 linear feet

Arrangement:

Arranged alphabetically.

Series Description:

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:

                                                                                                                            Arranged alphabetically.

                                                                                                                            Series Description:

                                                                                                                            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:

                                                                                                                                  Arranged alphabetically.

                                                                                                                                  Series Description:

                                                                                                                                  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:

                                                                                                                                                                    Arranged chronologically.

                                                                                                                                                                    Series Description:

                                                                                                                                                                    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:

                                                                                                                                                                              Arranged alphabetically.

                                                                                                                                                                              Series Description:

                                                                                                                                                                              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 feet

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Arrangement:

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Arranged by format, then alphabetically by title.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Series Description:

                                                                                                                                                                                                        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
                                                                                                                                                                                                        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 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    CD: Sundown Voyager Song Cycles by Michael C. Viens 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      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:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Arranged alphabetically

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Series Description:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Consists of commercial software publications including childrens' learning programs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Box
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Spinnaker Delta Drawing Learning Program 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Spinnaker Kids on Keys 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Spinnaker Kidwriter 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Spinnaker Kidwriter drafts 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Spinnaker Kinder Comp 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Spinnaker Kindercomp