Julia Alford is a composer, theorist/ethnomusicologist, educator, and accordion noodler. Her music combines strains of texture, serialism and klezmer music with a firm commitment to melodic importance. It stems from spurts of improvisation that is often mixed with a series of numbers (each representing a given pitch, sometimes using 12, sometimes less, never more) that are rearranged over and over again.
She received her education at many fine institutions, the most recent being Temple University in Philadelphia, where she completed her Doctor of Musical Arts degree under the mentorship of Matthew Greenbaum in the spring of 2013. Her music has been performed in many exotic locales including Philadelphia, New York, Kansas City, Kalamazoo, Boca Raton, Aspen, and Piadena, Italy.
In the spring of 2013, she completed writing her Doctoral Monograph, Chasing Yiddishkayt: A Klezmer Concerto – Music for Accordion, Klezmorim Concertino, Strings and Percussion. This work has produced her current research interests in exploring the possibilities of explaining klezmer music in analytical terms that are reflective of the historical and geographical context of a given tune.
Dr. Alford is currently an adjunct assistant professor at Temple University where she teaches world music and theory. In her spare time she plays accordion and assists in tune writing in the American Gothic-esque, Northern Arms.
To read more about her process and influences, check out her recent interview on the Italian New Music Blog, Nomos Alpha.