Mikel Rouse is a New York-based composer, director, performer and recording artist hailed by The New York Times as “a composer many believe to be the best of his generation.” His works include 25 records, seven films and a trilogy of media operas: Failing Kansas, Dennis Cleveland and The End of Cinematics. In 1995, Mr. Rouse premiered and directed Failing Kansas, inspired by Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood. This led to an emerging art form he calls “counterpoetry,” which involves the use of multiple unpitched voices in counterpoint. In 1996, Mr. Rouse premiered and directed the modern talk show opera Dennis Cleveland, hailed by The Village Voice as “the most exciting and innovative new opera since Einstein on the Beach.” The third opera in his trilogy, The End Of Cinematics, premiered at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in the fall of 2005.
Mr. Rouse also tours on a more intimate scale as a solo live performer with a surreally beautiful song-and-video storytelling piece entitled Music For Minorities. His piece for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company (Cunningham’s eyeSpace, 2006), entitled International Cloud Atlas, was scored for multiple iPods set to “shuffle” so that each audience member heard a different realization of the score (with 3,628,800 possible permutations). Mr. Rouse has received commissions from the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust and the Meet the Composer/Reader’s Digest Commissioning Program.