Davide Verotta



I was born in a boring Italian town close to Milano and moved to the very much more exciting San Francisco in my late twenties. I studied music at the Milano Conservatory, and than at the San Francisco Conservatory and State University, and at the University of California at Davis, this after a detour dedicated to the study of mathematical applications to biology, a Ph.D from Berkeley, and my academic career. I have a M.A. in composition but I doubt I will ever finish my Ph.D studies in composition at Davis ... too many degrees! and probably more accurately I am right now more interested in concentrating on some specific compositional quests, rather than jumping over the unavoidable hops that can be found in school.

My interest in music is intertwined with a half-lifelong academic occupation in mathematical modeling producing about one hundred articles in peer reviewed scientific journals (here's a sample). Although it might generate a familiar reaction (Ah! Musicians and Math), I must admit that the precise relationship of music and mathematics eludes me. Especially when applied to almost all the music composition literature of the past, mathematics and musical composition simply do not mix. One is the realm of agreed upon axioms and the rigurous derivations based upon the axioms and the rules of logic, the other is the place of subjective picks and derivations that are based on taste, arbitrary choices taken at possible bifurcations, arbitraryness, all the way, for the more who-cares-about-rules composers, delirious imagination at work.

But ... Alas! unresolved existential issues don't impede on my musician life that revolves around composition (recently opera), performance (I am quite involved with the Bay Area Music Scene, in particular with SFCCO, Irregular Resolutions, NACUSASF, Festival of Contemporary Music) and teaching. Fairly esoteric, and perhaps useless, interests in music theory involve some mathematical modeling applications to composition (a "quick and dirty" application is Rehearsal O.23 for strings and voices, but more might come along), and more recently some mathematical modelling of dissonace.