Ezra Sims

In 1960, it became apparent that I would either compose with intervals smaller than the half step or not compose at all. I had resisted them since 1944, finding that the older composers whose use of them I knew seemed really part of the Lunatic Fringe and thinking that joining their company would only add another impediment to getting my music played. But at last my ear demanded the little intervals and I had to give in. Since then, I have enriched, refined, and clarified that impulse, identifying its acoustic foundation and formal implications, and establishing my work–to my mind, anyhow–squarely in the evolving tonal tradition of Western Music. And have had a great deal of joy out of both the composing and the compositions.Biography
Ezra Sims was educated at Yale University and Mills College, where he studied with Quincy Porter and Darius Milhaud, respectively. Since 1958 he has lived and composed in Cambridge, Mass., tapping into the Boston area’s musical resources. In 1976 he co-founded the Dinosaur Annex Ensemble with Rodney Lister and Scott Wheeler. Sims’s microtonal notational system has become the standard for Boston’s unusually high number of composers and performers using seventy-two notes. (Most of the Dinosaur Annex musicians are fluent with it, and Joe Maneri uses it, as does everyone who passes through Maneri’s course at the New England Conservatory. Also, cellist Ted Mook has created a font for Sims’ microtonal symbols which may be found athttp://www.mindspring.com/~tmook/micro.html.)Sims’ music has been performed throughout Europe and the United States, and in Japan. His music is published by Frog Peak Press.
Sims website
Night Piece


Dinosaur Annex Ensemble members: Sue-Ellen Hirshman-Tcherepnin, fl; Katherine V. Matasy, cl; Anne Black, viola; Michael Curry, vc; Cynthia Cummings, Computer/Conductor

From CD “The Microtonal Music of Ezra Sims”
CRI 643