Arlan Schultz is assistant professor of music, composition and theory and he is head of the composition area. He is a past recipient of numerous teaching assistantships and fellowships. His work has been supported by various grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Quebec Council for Arts and Letters, and the University of Lethbridge.
Dr. Schultz's music has been broadcast on Radio Canada, and in France on CBC's sister network, and has been heard in performances in Canada, the United States, France, Germany, Austria, and Hungary. He has been commissioned by the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the McGill Concert Choir, the Stuttgart Wind Quintet with Canadian pianist Louise Besette, Hungarian violinist János Négyesy, Canadian pianist Sandra Brown, Ensemble Resonance, Calgary, and New Works Calgary among others.
In addition to his creative work, Dr. Schultz is active in several areas of research related to the field of composition. Current writings include forthcoming articles on time, music, and the philosophical works of Henri Bergson and Ludwig Wittgenstein and on the music of Canadian composer Michel-Georges Brégent. He is implementing software algorithms for real-time audio spatialization in live performance, designing symbolic computational algorithms for computer-assisted composition, and audio synthesis. As well, he is developing tools for electroacoustic composition in the form of audio spatialization software and unique audio-sample databases. He will carry out his research in France at the Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM), at the Drepung Gomang Monastery in South-West India, and at the Center for Research in Computing and the Arts in La Jolla, California.
At a young age I was fascinated with the the structure of music and the techniques involved in its composition. Although I was a pianist, the act of performance was somehow unsatisfying and I found myself increasingly involved in performative situations where improvisation and creativity were required. This engagement with creative music making is what directly led to my desire for more in-depth study of how music was put together. Along this path I discovered that, in addition to the traditional tools offered to a composer by historical (and newer) models for realizing a musical composition, there were significant technologies which could enhance the composer's expressive palette - such technologies include real-time spatialization techniques; interactive and computer mediated performance techniques; symbolic computational models; algorithmic composition; new real-time techniques for audio synthesis among others.
My current research is engaged with creating music and configuring it for transmission to a audience. When I consider the relevance of my research to the world at large (beyond the academic walls), I ask myself "what role does music play in my daily life?" Music is ubiquitous, but is it all meaningful? I view my research as means for differentiating levels of meaning and for creating an aesthetic experience which goes beyond the background noise of daily living.
I have been fortunate to receive many grants and awards for my creative work, among them our current ACDI Grant from the Canada Council, an award from the Mozarteum in Salzburg, the BMI award for concert music and the SOCAN award. However, the most important honor I have received in my career has been the great privilege of working with world-class performers on the production and performance of my work. My wife, soprano Martha Renner, is a frequent collaborator on my vocal music and my more recent work has involved the inclusion of ritual Tibetan music. The Monks of the Drepung Gomang Monastery in South West India have honored me be allowing the recording of their ritual music for study and inclusion in my creative work.
To be a concert-music composer is to be a teacher - students are central to the survival of concert-music and to the continued advancement of/experimentation with musical discourse. The art of composition has always been passed on through apprenticeship models of teaching and my students play a central role in my creative life. My students have been actively involved with my musical productions and have been able to benefit from utilizing new technologies and hearing new ways to organize sound.
If I had unlimited funds, I would invest in those forms of endeavor which keep us more fully human. Many have said that art fulfills this criterion, but in my view artistic endeavor informed by and combined with scientific research is among the most exiting fields for future research.