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Guide to the Michael C. Viens Papers, 1967-2018

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Title:
Michael C. Viens papers
Creator:
Viens, Michael C.
ID:
M251
Date [inclusive]:
1967-2018
Extent:
7 Linear Feet
Repository:
George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine 04011
Abstract:
The collection contains drafts of musical compositions (parts and scores), poems, correspondence, copyright agreements, programs, clippings, ephemera, and sound recordings documenting Michael Viens' musical education and subsequent career as a composer between ca. 1972 and 2018.
Provenance:

Gift of Michael C. Viens, 2003-2021.

Preferred Citation:

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

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 Elliott 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. Michael 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)

The collection contains drafts of musical compositions (parts and scores), poems, correspondence, copyright agreements, programs, clippings, ephemera, and sound recordings documenting Michael Viens' musical education and his subsequent career as a composer between ca. 1972 and 2018. 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.

Organized in seven series: Compositions, 1972-1998; Poems, 1972-2002; Correspondence and Agreements, 1979-2016; Programs and concerts, 1967-2016; Subject Files, 1967-2018; Recordings, 1976-2018; Publications (software), 1982-1984.

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.

Ah,... Winged Muse, 1997

box 1

Amber Ale, 1992

box 1

Autumnal Triptych drafts, 1988

box 1

Autumnal Triptych drafts, 1988

ovsz-box 1 folder 1

Autumnal Triptych penultimate, 1991

box 1

Autumnal Triptych final, 1991

box 1

Balloon Man, 1992

box 1

Bees, 1991

box 1

Bittersweet, 1989

box 1

Bittersweet, 1989 (2 of 2)

box 1

ColorScope (A Song Cycle for Baritone Voice and Orchestra), 1993

ovsz-box 1

ColorScope - Amber Ale, 1992

box 1

ColorScope - Consolation, 1992

box 1

ColorScope - Consolation, 1992

ovsz-box 1 folder 2

ColorScope - drafts

ovsz-box 1 folder 2

ColorScope - Epilogue, 1992

box 1

ColorScope - Peach-tart, 1992

box 1

ColorScope - Prologue, 1992

box 1

Compositions Dedicated to Michael Viens

ovsz-box 1 folder 3

Consolation, 1992

box 1

Early orchestral sketches

ovsz-box 1

Early orchestral sketches

box 1

Entretiens, 1979, copy 1

box 1

Entretiens, 1979, copy 2

ovsz-box 1 folder 4

Heat, 1991

box 1

Hummingbirds, 1997

box 1

Hummingbirds, 1998

box 1

Hummingbirds, orchestral parts, 2018

box 1

Hummingbirds, piano solo, 1998

box 1

Hummingbirds, A Tone Poem for Orchestra, 1998

ovsz-box 1

In Loving You

box 1

Interlude - The Hour, 1989

box 1

Kladdenklangen, 1979

ovsz-box 1 folder 5

Lament, 1990

box 1

Les Insectes Dansants, 1994

box 1

Les Insectes Dansants, 1994

box 1

Les Insectes Dansants, Three Tone Poems for Large Orchestra, 1995

ovsz-box 1

Lonely Twilight

box 1

Mongol 482

ovsz-box 1 folder 6

Pareil-non-Pareil, 1976 rev. 1978

box 1

Pareil-non-Pareil drafts

ovsz-box 1 folder 7

Peach Tart, 1992

box 1

Pentaphonia for Woodwind Quintet

ovsz-box 2 folder 1

Perpetuum Mobile, 1979, copy 1

box 1

Perpetuum Mobile, 1979, copy 2

ovsz-box 2 folder 2

Phantasmagoria

ovsz-box 2 folder 3

Phases of the Heart, 1989

box 1

Phoenix Arising, A Tone Poem for Chamber Orchestra and Piano, 1996

ovsz-box 1

Rough draft for open form string quartet

ovsz-box 1

Seasons of Love, 1989, copy 1

box 1

Seasons of Love, 1989, copy 2

box 1

Seasons of Love, 1989, with stage directions

box 1

SoundScapes, 1977

box 1

StarBlaze, 1990, copy 1

box 1

StarBlaze, 1990, copy 2

box 1

StarBlaze, 1990, penultimate

box 1

Star Blaze, 1990

box 1

Storm, 1992

box 1

Summer Fare, 1991

box 1

Summer Fare, 1991

box 1

Sundown Voyager, 1992

box 1

The Firefly

box 1

The Mustard Seed

ovsz-box 2 folder 4

Thune

ovsz-box 2 folder 5

To a Hummingbird, 1998

box 1

Tone Sketch for Guitar Solo

ovsz-box 2 folder 6

Twilight - Hymn to the Night, 1991

box 2

Twilight - Song, 1992

box 2

Twilight - Spring (sketch)

box 2

Twilight - Winter, 1991

box 2

Ukanos, 1980

ovsz-box 2 folder 7

Voices in the Still, 1991

box 2

Voices in the Still drafts

box 2

Voices in the Still - Acceptance, 1991

box 2

Voices in the Still - Bereft, 1990

box 2

Voices in the Still - Come In, 1991

box 2

Voices in the Still - Desert Places, 1990

box 2

Voices in the Still - Mezzo soprano, 1991

box 2

Voices in the Still - Reluctance, 1991

box 2

Voies Disparates

ovsz-box 2 folder 7

Voli in Primavera, 1991

box 2

Winter Night, 1991, drafts

box 2

Winter Night, 1991, drafts (2 of 2)

box 2

Winter Nights, 1991, penultimate copy 1

box 2

Winter Nights, 1991, penultimate copy 2

ovsz-box 2 folder 9

Woodpeckers, 1997

box 2

York, Maine, fin de siecles, 1991

box 2

Score inventory

box 2

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.

Poems authored by Viens

Box 3

Poems authored by Viens, grouped by composition

Box 3

Poems collected by Viens

Box 3

Poems by Edward DiValli

Box 3

Poems, texts

Box 3

Poems, floppy disk backups

Box 5

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.

AIDS project correspondence

Box 3

Bowdoin Bicentennial Concert correspondence

Box 3

Copyrights, compositions, A-P

Box 3

Copyrights, compositions, Q-Z

Box 3

Copyrights, poetry, A-G

Box 3

Copyrights, poetry, H-S

Box 3

Copyrights, poetry, T-Z

Box 3

Correspondence, chronological, 1973-1978

Box 3

Correspondence, chronological, 1980-

Box 3

Correspondence, family, 1971-1976

Box 3

Les Insectes Dansants correspondence

Box 3

Letters of recommendation

Box 3

McKinley correspondence

Box 3

Mailing list

Box 3

Maine Composers' Forum correspondence

Box 3

Pareil-non-Pareil correspondence

Box 3

University of Illinois correspondence

Box 3

Winter Night correspondence

Box 3

York, Maine: fin de siecles correspondence

Box 3

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.

1967-1979 (1 of 2)

Box 3

1967-1979 (2 of 2)

Box 3

1988-1991

Box 3

1992-1995 (1 of 2)

Box 3

1992-1995 (2 of 2)

Box 3

1996-2016

Box 3

Oversized Programs, 1988-2014

ovsz-box 2 folder 16

Arrangement:

Arranged alphabetically.

Series Description:

Consists of files and clippings compiled by Michael Viens about concerts and premiere performances, compositions, and his mentors and musical educators. Also includes biographical information about Viens and ephemera relating to his trip to Bratislava, Slovakia.

Biographical clippings

Box 3

Biographical materials

Box 3

Chez Ginnette French Cabaret

Box 3

Clippings collected by Viens

Box 3

Dedications and acknowledgements

Box 3

Education in France and at Bowdoin College

Box 3

Edward di Valli life celebration

Box 3

Elliott Schwartz homage, 2016

Box 3

Fontainbleau Alumni Association

Box 3

French royalties received

Box 3

Master Musicians' Collective

Box 3

Music Room Recording Studio

Box 3

Nadia Boulanger classes, 1974

Box 3

Nadia Boulanger, clippings and ephemera

Box 3

Nadia Boulanger, harmony books used while studying with Boulanger (1 of 2)

Box 3

Nadia Boulanger, harmony books used while studying with Boulanger (2 of 2)

Box 3

Nadia Boulanger, harmony lessons notebooks, 1970s (1 of 4)

Box 4

Nadia Boulanger, harmony lessons notebooks, 1970s (2 of 4)

Box 4

Nadia Boulanger, harmony lessons notebooks, 1970s (3 of 4)

Box 4

Nadia Boulanger, harmony lessons notebooks, 1970s (4 of 4)

Box 4

Nadia Boulanger, master teacher

Box 4

Phoenix Arising, band version, edited score, 2014

Box 4

Phoenix Arising, premiere, March 22, 2014

Box 4

Photographs

Box 4

Robert Casadesus biography by William Eaves, 1982

Box 4

Seasons of Love guestbook

Box 4

Seasons of Love premiere, April 28, 1991

Box 4

Songbook of Norman Viens

Box 4

Travel to Bratislava, Slovakia

Box 4

World premiere of Winterlight, Starblaze, and Seasons of Love, 1991

Box 4

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, MP4, reel-to-reel, and VHS. Some published recordings are available in the Bowdoin College Authors Collection.

Cassette: Les Insectes Dansantes, 1995 May 4

Box 5

Cassette: Les Insectes Dansantes, 1995 October 13

Box 5

Cassette: Premiere of works, tape 1

Box 5

Cassette: Premiere of works, tape 2

Box 5

CD: Ah Winged Muse and Come In, for Elliott Schwartz 80th year celebration, 2016

Box 5

CD: Michael C. Viens and William Thomas McKinley

Box 5

CD: Phoenix Arising, 2014

Box 5

CD: Phoenix Arising, Band version, track 2, 2014

Box 5

CD: Sapphic Odes, rehearsal concert, Jan 13, 2018

Box 5

CD: Sapphic Odes, full concert, Jan 14, 2018

Box 5

Song Cycles

Box 5

CD: Sundown Voyager Song Cycles by Michael C. Viens

Box 5

CD: York, Maine: fin des siecles

Box 5

DAT: Live takes, 1990 February 4

Box 5

DAT: Live takes, 1990 May 1

Box 5

DAT: Sequenced dub master

Box 5

Digital-MP4: In Loving You, home recording, 2018

Box 5

Reel-to-reel: ColorScope

Box 5

Reel-to-reel: Phantasmagoria

Box 5

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

Box 5

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

Box 5

Reel-to-reel: Electronic music compositions by Michael Viens at Bowdoin while studying with Elliot Schwartz (two tapes)

Box 5

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

Box 5

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

Box 5

VHS: Bonjour!, 1996

Box 5

VHS: Boston concert

Box 5

VHS: Bowdoin bicentennial concert

Box 5

VHS: Olin Arts Center concert

Box 5

VHS: Portsmouth concert

Box 5

Arrangement:

Arranged alphabetically

Series Description:

Consists of commercial software publications including childrens' learning programs.

Spinnaker Delta Drawing Learning Program

Box 5

Spinnaker Kids on Keys

Box 5

Spinnaker Kidwriter

Box 5

Spinnaker Kidwriter drafts

Box 5

Spinnaker Kinder Comp

Box 5

Spinnaker Kindercomp

Box 5
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