Mark Randall Osborn (1969-2002) studied composition at UCSD and CalArts with Brian Ferneyhough, Steven Takasugi and Mel Powell, and conducting with Stephen “Lucky” Mosko and Harvey Sollberger. Osborn has also worked at the Center for Research in Computing and the Arts (CRCA), the Center for Experiments in Art, Information and Technology (CEAIT) and at IRCAM, and has taught composition, harmony, counterpoint, ear training and music history.
Osborn has been commissioned works from, a.o., the Berliner Symphonie Orchestra, Sonor, Ensemble Modern, RIAS Kammerchor, the Kairos Quartet, Neue Vocalsolisten and Red Fish Blue Fish.
Distinctions include the Kranichsteiner Musik Prize (1998), Gaudeamus finalist (1998), Ensemble Intercontemporain/IRCAM comissioning panel (1999), the Betty Freeman scholarship for musical excellence (1993, 1994), Margaret Fairbank Jory Copying Assistance Awards (1991, 1999), and the Stuart Prize for composition.
His works have been performed at international festivals, including Münchener Biennale, Klangspuren, Eclat, Klang Raum, Musik-BiennaleBerlin, Musik auf Solitude, Bludenzer Tage Zeitgemäßer Musik, Tage Neue Kammermusik Braunschweig, Emerging Voices, CalArts spring music festival, and at the Darmstädter ferienkurse.
Central to his compositional concerns is the destabilization of logical faculties in favor of a more fluid experience of time and musical relationship. This does not, however, imply the simple abnegation of the rational mind, but rather its engagement in a broader dialog with less conventionally located ways of apprehending experience. Rather than focusing the aesthetic experience upon a deterministic teleology, Osborn’s works seem to emanate from a web-like body of inferred connections.
Mark Randall Osborn died on October 1, 2002, in a car accident in Malibu.