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CONNECTING HUMANITY TO THE VERY WHEELWORK OF NATURE... Multidisciplinary opera / music-theater about the extraordinary life of visionary Nikola Tesla, whose transformative ideas challenged staid society, inherited wealth, and power structure of the Gilded Age and for all ages. 

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Pulsing, provocative and multidimensional, this contemporary take on Shakespeare's classic drama was commissioned years ago for the New York Shakespeare Festival / Public Theater by Joseph Papp, but it still remains un-performed due to Papp's tragic passing. Workshopped by SoBe Arts in 2012 

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Review/Music; American Operas in Progress by ALEX ROSS, New York Times April 24, 1993

"California Mystery Park," is an ambitious drama detailing domestic crisis and inter-racial tensions in Postwar America. The central characters are a World War II veteran and his estranged Japanese daughter; in the two scenes presented Wednesday, the drama took place mostly over the phone, with mean-spirited relatives joining in as a chorus. Mr. Kievman delights in multilayered textures in which as many as a dozen people (among them Ron Raines, Diane Kesling and the mellifluous Stephanie Park) recite and sing simultaneously. Mr. Kievman demonstrated considerable virtuosity in shepherding disparate elements together. If the primary emotional themes could be kept distinct this opera might have a powerful effect." [Writing about a workshop of two scenes from "California Mystery Park" presented by American Opera Projects, NYC

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Winner Tanglewood Margaret Grant Memorial Composition Prize 1975

The Earth Only Endures-- Soundtheater (Music-Theater) -- Chamber Ensemble & Singers -- (Hand Puppet Theater) 1975. First public performance: Tanglewood Festival. -- 975. Carson Kievman (Leonard Bernstein Fellow)Tanglewood Music Center concert, Summer 1975, Tanglewood Music Center Composers Forum Concerts, Concert 2. During the US Bicentennial I wrote this piece about the annihilation of the American Indian, performed behind screens with hand gestures, Boston Symphony Orchestra. Audio Department. Tanglewood Theatre-Concert Hall, Tanglewood Lenox, Massachusetts.


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Concerto for Bassoon and Fire Alarm System -- Soundtheater (Music-Theater) -- Percussion Ensemble & Bassoon -- 1973. First public performance: California Institute of the Arts. Steven Braunstein, bassoon -- 1974. Recent performane Internationale Ensemble Modern German Tour 2018


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Just Enough Rope ( To.. .) -- Soundtheater (Music-Theater) -- Version I; Percussion/Piano Duo. Version 2; Chamber Ensemble & Singers. Version 3; Chamber Ensemble & Mixed Chorus. Version 4; Mixed Chorus & Tape. -- 1976. Commissioned by The Arden/Jullich Duo. First public performance: New School for Social Research, NYC. Composers Forum. Arden/Jullich Duo & New York Chamber Ensemble -- 1977.


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Gallery (After A Song And Dance) -- Soundtheater (Music-Theater) -- Soprano Solo and Mime (1977). First public performances: Independent Composers Association, Los Angeles and Centre Cultural Americain, Paris, Joan Callopy, soprano -- 1977. Associated Music Publishers/G. Schirmer, Inc. New York/London -- 1984.   Duration 20 – 30’. Sop., Mime.

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IN PROCESS (2017 - current) PASSION LOVE GRAVITY Music by Carson Kievman, Libretto by Carson Kievman and Mark David Needle. A time dialated opera trilogy. Illuminating three stories of love from the past millennium. Like a travelogue drifting in and out of a hypnagogic state, otherworldly like a lucid dream.

"Passion Love Gravity", will illuminate three stories of from the past millennium: A Japanese legend, an ancient Punjabi folk tale, and a medieval European love affair, all told through the lens of cultural, scientific and political history, that codes of conduct and bending to authoritarian power is only an illusion of time and can be overcome with love itself. First, challenging the strict Catholic codes of medieval Europe with love standing against the obligations of marriage, then with excruciating beauty reconcile their worldly passions with their faith. Second, against a great contrast of the ancient wild forests and kingdoms of Punjab, lovers offer a powerful challenge to the strict Islamic codes and cultural expectations of their time. And finally, a legend set in the courtly feudal gardens of Japan invokes the idea of transfiguration as a princess emerges from, and returns to, an ideal state.

The opera will have a sonata like structure with three acts, in which the characters and settings of separate stories are first introduced; Then interwoven as befits the idea of union and the challenges that emerge; And finally resolved, transcending to something more universal. Musically, the work resembles a travelogue drifting in and out of a hypnagogic state, otherworldly like a lucid dream but viscerally poignant. As a stage piece, the transformations are envisioned as a cascade of overlapping musical and multimedia invention, free floating scene changes, and passions and echoes that suggest a sense of evolution and transfiguration—the stuff of illumination, mysticism, and ablution, with possible interruptions, revelations, and interludes from the “gods”.

Incorporating aspects of masked pageantry, ritual and chant, and deliberate dance movements suggests to us an organic solution in which elements from each tale can resolve.  We envision a finale in which the transcendent themes from all three stories, both musical and dramatic, are complementary. And not least, visually: the triptych is common to world cultures as a visual art medium, from medieval Christian art to ancient Japanese triptychs. We envision the entire opera as a dramatic triptych with three parallel settings and stories. Moreover by the third act, we see the three stories side by side reaching their final phase by forming a living tableau of three parts simultaneously, visually rich and composed like a Japanese or Renaissance triptych painting.


A journey to recover from loss of love. In it the Orpheus Myth is modernized to show a man in the grip of pain and confusion - A psycho music-drama that follows our hero (Orpheus) into the "hell of his mind," and back. This opera reflects the composer's personal struggle to break through certain destructive cycles, both creative and emotional. Influenced by Marcel Proust’s "Remembrance of Things Past,"

leighton Kerner, The Village Voice June 5, 1979.
"Itchily innovative composers still can work in New York's popular musical theater. Exhibit A: Stephan Sondheim's Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street at the Uris. Exhibit B: Carson Kievman's triple bill of The Temporary & Tentative Extended Piano, Multinationals & The Heavens, and Wake Up, It's Time To Go Bed! at the Public. There may be others. I hope so. Nevertheless, taking into account the recorded samplings I’ve heard from the competition, I have to salute these two shows and none other for fighting the good fight against music-theater solely of, by, and for the tired businessman. As a builder of music-theater constructions, Kievman is a wizard!" 


Based on the concept of a Glass Bead Game (interdisciplinary competition) in Magister Ludi by Hermann Hesse. Not yet performed.

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Based on the concept of a Glass Bead Game (interdisciplinary competition) in Magister Ludi by Hermann Hesse. Not yet performed


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The Temporary & Tentative Extended Piano -- Soundtheater (Music-Theater) -- Solo Piano (1976/77). Commissioned by David Arden. Recorded for release in 1996 on New Albion Records (distr. Koch Int.) -- David Arden - piano. First complete public performance: British Broadcasting Corporation, London. David Arden, piano -- 1977. First theatrical performance: The Public Theater, Joseph Papp, Producer -- 1979.


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SOUNDSCAPE (for EARLE BROWN)
Miami Beach Bass Museum 1994

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A 70-MINUTE TRIP “DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE.”  This contemporary music-theater journey hurtles through a kaleidoscopically shifting mental landscape, past the borderline between hilarity and madness, into a surrealistic dislocation.  

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THE SURRENDER OF SELF IN MYSTICAL CONTEMPLATION. A provocative 90 minute multimedia opera exploring epic conflicts at the intersections of the natural universe, technology and humanity. Commissioned by the Donaueschingen Music Festival many years ago when Stephen Hawking published his groundbreaking research on the Big Bang theory and the transformative nature of the universe.

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Winner BMI Award 1976


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PIANO CONCERT - (PRISONERS OF CONSCIENCE) -- Soundtheater (Music-Theater) -- Piano, Mechanical Set & Orchestra -- (1981). First public performance.: The Cayman NationHarquail Theater, Grand Cayman Island. BWI 1986. Paintings by John Shaw; mechanical set design by Carson Kievman. David Arden, piano. First public "Reading" (concert version): Florida Philharmonic Orchestra, Gusman Hall, University of Miami, David Arden, piano, James Judd, conductor -- 1991.  Duration 50’. 2 (picc.) - 2 – 3 (Bb, A, Eb, bs. cl.) – 1 (cbsn.) / 2 – 2 – 2 – 1 / timp., 1 perc., str.

A Standing Ovation - Grand Cayman Magazine 2017

“Cayman National Cultural Foundation expanded the National Harquail Theatre opening into a weeklong cultural panorama celebrating all aspects of the performing and visual arts, creating one of the island’s most-prestigious arts festivals. The celebrations opened Nov. 29, 1986, with the world premiere of Los Angeles-born Carson Kievman - Composer’s “Piano Concert (Prisoners of Conscience),” composed in Grand Cayman.

New York teacher and international pianist David Arden also appeared, playing a grand piano loaned by local figure Shirley Gouaux. Multimedia orchestra painting/constructions by John Shaw


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THE POINT, A COMMON AGREEMENT -- Soundtheater (Musical Game) -- Chamber Ensemble -- 1973. First public performance: Institute for Sonology, Utrecht, Netherlands 1977.


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String (a condition attached to a plan) Rumble (a fight between teenage gangs)-- Soundtheater (Music-Theater) -- String Ensemble or String Orchestra -- 1973. First public performance: California Institute of the Arts. Cal Arts String Ensemble -- 1974.