ANNEA LOCKWOOD was born in 1939 in Christchurch, New Zealand where she received her early training as a composer. After completing a B.Mus (hons) she went on to study composition at the Royal College of Music in London, with Peter Racine Fricker (1961-63); at the Darmstadt Ferienkurs fur Neue Musik (1962-63); and with Gottfried Michael Koenig at the Musikhochschule, Cologne, Germany and in Holland (1963-64). Returning to London in 1964, she freelanced as a composer-performer in Britain and other European countries until moving to the USA in 1973. There she continued to freelance and teach, first at CUNY, Hunter College, then, from l982 and at present on the faculty of Vassar College, NY.
During the 1960s she collaborated frequently with sound-poets, choreographers and visual artists, and created a number of works which she herself performed, such as the Glass Concert (1967), later published in Source: Music of the Avant-Garde, and recorded on Tangent Records, then on What Next CDs. In this work a variety of complex sounds were drawn from industrial glass shards and glass tubing, and presented as an audio-visual theater piece. In synchronous homage to Christian Barnard's pioneering heart transplants, Lockwood created the Piano TranspIants (1969-72), in which old, defunct pianos were variously burned, "drowned" in a shallow pond in Amarillo, Texas, and partially buried in an English garden.
During the 1970s and '80s she turned her attention to performance works focused on environmental sounds, life-narratives and performance works using low-tech devices such as her Sound Ball (a foam-covered ball containing 6 small speakers and a radio receiver, originally designed to "put sound into the hands of" dancers). World Rhythms (l975), Conversations with the Ancestors (1979, based on the life stories of four women over 80), A Sound Map of the Hudson River (l982), Delta Run (1982, built around a conversation she recorded with the sculptor Walter Wincha, who was close to death), and the surreal Three Short Stories and an Apotheosis (l985, using the Sound Ball) were widely presented in the US, Europe and in New Zealand.
She turned to writing for acoustic instruments and voices, sometimes incorporating electronics and visual elements, in the 1990s, producing pieces for a variety of ensembles: Thousand Year Dreaming (1991) is scored for four didgeridus and other instruments and incorporates slides of the cave paintings at Lascaux; Ear-Walking Woman (1996), for pianist Lois Svard, invites the pianist to discover a range of sounds available inside the instrument, using rocks, bubble-wrap, bowl gongs and other implements; Duende (1997) a collaboration with baritone Thomas Buckner, carries the singer into a heightened state, similar to a shamanic journey, through the medium of his own voice.
Much of her music has been recorded, on the Lovely, XI, ?What Next?/OO Discs, Rattle Records (NZ), Harmonia Mundi, CRI and Finnadar/Atlantic labels.