February 15, 2004


Jeffrey Harrington was born in Forest, Mississippi, Dec. 28, 1955, and spent his formative high school years in New Orleans, Louisiana, where he became personally familiar with many great blues and funk artists with his work at the New Orleans Jazz Festival. While he has studied with several important composers at Juilliard and Tulane, including Elliott Carter and Roger Sessions, he attributes his musical education largely to self-study.

Jeffrey Harrington's music is characterized by New Orleans-influenced rhythms, and intense counterpoint and climaxes. A noted microtonalist and electronic experimentalist, he was also one of the first musicians to adopt the Internet for music distribution and promotion, starting in 1986 with RelayNet emails and BBS downloads. He is also likely the inventor of the free music distribution model, employing pre-web computer systems to distribute his music (both scores and recordings) to musicians and listeners around the world free of charge garnering worldwide performances and attention. He continues to do so to this day at his site: In November 2011, Harrington had 4 world premieres across the globe in 20 days, two in Germany by Duo Ahlert und Schwab and The Twiolins, one in London, by Camilla Hoitenga, and one in Southern California by The Hutchins Consort.

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Jeffrey Harrington was born in 1955 in Forest, Mississippi. His mother and father were amateur musicians who played the popular music of the 40's and 50's for fun. In high school he taught himself blues and boogie-woogie piano and built a synthesizer from parts. He began composing when he was 17 and won a composition contest for a serial composition using an isorhythm derived from a Billy Cobham song bass line. During that same time, he and his friend Barney Kilpatrick began working at the New Orleans Jazz Festival where he was a stage hand. During these times he received impromptu guidance and some informal lessons from piano greats Professor Longhair and Roosevelt Sykes. He also got to set up stage and meet many other blues greats, (Bukka White, Snooks Eaglin, B.B. King, et al) and this experience formed a powerful musical and personal confirmation that the blues and New Orleans funk music were to remain a driving influence throughout his life. He also helped organize high school dances where they arranged for one of the worlds greatest funk bands, The Meters to play at both the Junior and Senior Proms.

Harrington continued his composition studies at LSU and at the Juilliard School where he studied in the Master's program with Elliott Carter and Roger Sessions. He has also studied or workshopped with James Drew (private study), Barbara Jazwinski (Tulane), Deborah Drattell (Tulane), Morton Subotnick (Atlantic Center for the Arts), Jacob Druckman (master class), Joan LaBarbara (Atlantic Center for the Arts), Steina and Woody Vasulka (Atlantic Center for the Arts).

In 1981 he began a series of compositions using the harmonic idiom of the 18th century with rhythms from jazz and African-American music. In 1987 he returned to a more chromatic style of composition while retaining his interest in melody and counterpoint and the dramatic/developmental processes of the music of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. In 1990 he retracted all but a few of his compositions written to date (approximately 100).

In 1991 he programmed an expert system in C (inspired by a book by Taniiev - Convertible Counterpoint) which assists him in his discovery of the contrapuntal possibilities inherent in his melodies. The system takes up to 6 tracks of music and determines (using a pre-selected harmonic rulebase) the points at which the melodies mesh to produce effective counterpoint. The system produces music files ready to audition in realtime, so he can simultaneously be developing a transition while he produces the next section of counterpoint.

Harrington currently supports himself as a Java programmer for eSchool Online, a division of Classroom Connect. He's also worked at Children's Television Workshop where he wrote a suite of prize-winning educational, yet silly, Sesame Street Java games, which were the first online games for Sesame Street and a prize-winning Castanet channel.. He has also been a counselor/computer programmer for Choice in Dying: The National Council for the Right to Die (now defunct) and he set up the first web site for the American Music Center. Harrington's vision for the American Music Center of a complete portal to new music with scores and MP3's has since been realized with their NewMusicJukeBox. He's also worked in the offshore oil fields of Louisiana as a galley hand, in music libraries at Tulane and Loyola University, and at several record stores including the world's first record store, Liberty Music (Madison Ave. behind Saks), where he met Frank Sinatra and learned how to sneak into Carnegie Hall. (Practice, practice, practice).

Harrington's 3D visual creations have been featured in the prominent design magazine, I.D. and throughout the 3D web world.

Harrington's music has been performed around the world (from Siberia to St. Louis).