William Allaudin Mathieu (born 1937) is a composer, pianist, choir director, music teacher, and author. He studied with William Russo and Easley Blackwood, with North Indian vocalist Pandit Pran Nath for 25 years, and collaborated with Nubian master musician Hamza El Din.
In the 1960s, he spent several years as an arranger and composer for Stan Kenton and Duke Ellington orchestras. Kenton's album Standards In Silhouette consists entirely of Mathieu's arrangements and revealed the young Mathieu (then 22 years of age) to be an incredibly adept manipulator of compositional materials.
Mathieu was one of the founders and the musical director for the Second City in Chicago, the first ongoing improvisational theater troupe in the United States, and was later the musical director for the Committee, an improv theater in San Francisco that was an offshoot of Second City. In the 1970s, he was on the faculties of San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Mills College. Allaudin was the original director of the Sufi Choir founded in 1969 in San Francisco among followers of Samuel L. Lewis.
Mathieu began recording solo piano albums in 1980, and has composed a large variety of chamber pieces, choral works, and song cycles.
His books include:
The Listening Book: Discovering Your Own Music (1991) Shambhala. ISBN 0-87773-610-3.,
The Musical Life: Reflections On What It Is And How To Live It (1994) Shambhala. ISBN 0-87773-670-7.,
Harmonic Experience: Tonal Harmony from Its Natural Origins to Its Modern Expression (1997) Inner Traditions Intl Ltd. ISBN 0-89281-560-4.,
Bridge of Waves: What Music Is and How Listening to It Changes the World (2010) Shambhala. ISBN 1-59030-732-1.,
Harmonic Experience (561 pages) offers a view of music theory that harmonizes Western and Eastern perspectives. Understanding can be actively enhanced by utilizing its autodidactic ear-training and sight-singing exercises, especially using singing sargam syllables over a drone such as a tamboura or possibly a Western fifth played in just intonation.
An audio edition of The Listening Book was issued on two cassette tapes in 1991 By Shambhala Lion Editions. That audio material was remastered and issued along with new audio material read from The Musical Life in 2008 on the Manifest Spirit Records label.
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license