Progressive Difference is a blog about progressive politics, religion, contemporary concert music and the arts.
Dr. Robert Gross, editor-in-chief and co-composer-in-residence, holds a DMA in composition from University of Southern California, a certificate in film music from University of Southern California, an MA in Music for Film, Television and Theatre from University of Bristol (England), an MM in Music Composition from Rice University, and a BM in Music Composition from Oberlin Conservatory. He was an instructor of music theory for three years at Rice University. Publications include articles in Perspectives of New Music and Journal of Schenkerian Theory. He is one third of Blind Comfort, an experimental electroacoustic music duo with a current release on the Beauport Classical label (under the name Blind Labyrinth). His theater credits include music and lyrics for Yeehad! featured at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Singing Jailbirds for The Relevant Stage of South Los Angeles and featured as part of the Los Angeles Festival of New Musicals, and The One and Only for The Relevant Stage, also featured as part of the Los Angeles Festival of New Musicals.
Kenneth Downey, co-composer-in-residence, is a self-taught electroacoustic musician and also designer of audio games for the blind. His games include Wrecking Ball, Phrase Madness, Haywire and World of Darkness. His games were featured on national radio (NPR’s Weekend Edition), and is also an experienced television educator in the southern California region. He is one third of Blind Comfort, and an independent composer of electroacoustic works. He is both congenitally blind and has Meniere’s disease, which is an inner ear audio disorder. Blindness and Meniere’s disease both are crucial themes on the Blasted Light release under the name Blind Labyrinth.
Rebecca Morris is a certified teacher in music and special education, with four years of classroom and substitute teaching experience and five years of college tutoring and youth work. She holds a B.Mus. in vocal performance and music history from Rice University, and an MA in music history and literature from University of Southern California. She continues to enjoy performing and can be seen around the DFW area singing with her band, Blind Comfort, as well as in solo gigs. Her primary scholarly interest is in disability studies and music, and she has published on this topic in the prestigious Music Theory Online.