Allen Strange (
June 26, 1943in Calexico, California– February 20, 2008[ [http://matrixsynth.blogspot.com/2008/02/allen-strange-rip.html Matrixsynth: Allen Strange RIP ] ] [http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2008/feb/25/allen-strange-leader-in-electronic-music-dies/ "Allen Strange, Leader in Electronic Music, Dies at 64" By Rachel Pritchet, Kitsap Sun ] in Seattle, Washington) was an American composer. He authored two books, "Electronic Music: Systems, Techniques, and Controls" (first published in the 1970s) and "Programming and Meta-Programming the Electro-Organism". He co-wrote "The Contemporary Violin: Extended Performance Techniques" with his wife, Patricia. [ http://www.scarecrowpress.com/Catalog/SingleBook.shtml?command=Search&db=^DB/CATALOG.db&eqSKUdata=0520224094 "The Contemporary Violin: Extended Performance Techniques" By Patricia Strange and Allen Strange. Scarecrow Press, Inc. (2001) ]
Allen Strange studied composition with Donal Michalsky at the
California State University, Fullerton. He received his MA in 1967. He later studied composition with Robert Erickson, Harry Partch, and Ken Gaburo, and composition and electronic mediawith Pauline Oliverosat the University of California, San Diegofrom 1967-8 and 1970-71.
In 1970, Strange became a professor of music and the director of the
electronic musicstudios at San Jose State University.
He received grants from the
San Jose State UniversityFoundation for research into electronic music. Other grant support came from the American Music Center, Yamaha Corporation and the BIAHC Foundation. He attended John Chowning's music seminar at the Stanford University Artificial Intelligence Center. Strange was one of the leading authorities on analogue electronic music; his book "Electronic Music: Systems, Techniques, and Controls" is now a classic text. He also wrote "Programming and Meta-Programming the Electro-Organism", the operations manual for the Buchla Music Easel and documented the 200 Series synthesizers made by Buchla. He co-founded two performance groups: Biome (1967-72), in order to make use of the EMS Synthi; and, with Don Buchlain 1974, the Electronic Weasel Ensemble. He was president of the International Computer Music Associationfrom 1993-1998, and appeared as a guest artist-lecturer throughout the world. With his wife, Patricia, they published "The Contemporary Violin: Extended Performance Techniques" (Scarecrow Press).
Strange composed for live electronic instrumental ensembles, for live and taped electronics with voices and acoustic instruments, and for the theater; most of his works for acoustic instruments require extended performance techniques. He was particularly interested in linear tuning systems (as in "The Hairbreath Ring Screamers", 1969, and "Second Book of Angels", 1979), spatial distribution of sound ("Heart of Gold", 1982, and "Velocity Studies", 1983), the isolation of timbre as a musical parameter, and composing for groups of like instruments or voices. Elements of vaudeville, rock-and-roll, country-and-western music, and the guitar techniques of Les Paul are found in his works. His theater pieces employ various media including film, video, and lighting effects; he produced a series of such works in collaboration with the playwright and director Robert Jenkins, of which the most important are "Jack and the Beanstalk" (1979) and "The Ghost Hour" (1981), an audio drama. His later projects include works for solo and small ensembles ("Three Short Stories", 2005), continuation of the "Goddess Trilogy" for solo violin ("Goddess", 2003), works for electronic media with and without acoustic instruments ("Quinault Cathedral", 2004 and "Velocity Studies V: NGate", 2007), compositions for various chamber ensembles ("Songs in Black", 2005, "Another Fine Mess", 2006), works for orchestra ("Bainbridge Sketches", 2006 and "Brief Visits to Imaginary Places", 2007) and a complete evening of settings of poems by
Eugene Field, "The Cautionary Tales of Eugene Field", 2006-7).
Strange retired from academia in 2002 and moved to
Bainbridge Island, Washingtonto pursue a full-time career composing, concertizing with his wife, [http://www.umbc.edu/news/2007/01/umbc_presents_spring_2007_musi.html UMBC Presents Spring 2007 Music Concert Season ] and working with his jazz trio, Cuvée. [http://www.societyofcomposers.org/user/allenstrange.html Allen Strange Biography Society of Composers ] [ [http://www.voxnovus.com/composer/Allen_Strange.htm Allen Strange ] ] He died on February 20, 2008.
*"Electronic Music: Systems, Techniques, and Controls" (1972)
*"Programming and Meta-Programming the Electro-Organism" (1974)
* [http://www.scarecrowpress.com/Catalog/SingleBook.shtml?command=Search&db=^DB/CATALOG.db&eqSKUdata=0520224094 "The Contemporary Violin: Extended Performance Techniques"] By Patricia Strange and Allen Strange. Scarecrow Press, Inc. (2001)
* Ghost Strings [ http://cdbaby.com/cd/patriciastrange Ghost Strings on CDBaby]
* Ghost Tracks [ http://cdbaby.com/cd/allenstrange Ghost Tracks on CDBaby]
* "White Lady" - MetaSynthia 3.2 [ [http://homepage.mac.com/glenbledsoe/MetaSynthia/pages/msya3_2.html MetaSynthia 3.2 ] ]
* "Return to Misty Magic Land" -
60x60(2004-2005) Vox NovusVN-001 [ http://www.voxnovus.com/60x60/60x60_Vox_Novus_CD_2004-2005.htm 60x60 (2004-2005 Page]
* "Shadow Boxer" -
60x60(2003) Capstone RecordsCPS-8744 [http://www.capstonerecords.org/CPS-8744.html 60x60 (2003) Page ]
* "Moon + Moon" C.R.E.A.M. CD 1001,
* "Sleeping Beauty" - Consortium to Distribute Computer Music Series Volume 18, Centaur Recordings
* "Shaman" - Consortium to Distribute Computer Music Series Volume 26, Centaur Recordings
* "Music for Guitar and Tape" - Consortium to Distribute Computer Music Series Volume 17, Centaur Recordings
* "Velocity Studies IV:" - International Computer Music Conference 1992 Compact Disc, Executive Producer, ICMC'92
*Flutter for alto saxophone and prerecorded media, Capstone Records
* "Uncle Erhard" - Audiozine Recordings
* "Dangerous Nights" a collection of recorded stories with Robert Jenkins, Strange and Jenkins Productions.
* "The Thirty-Seventh Letter" - Frogs Hollow Recordings.
* [http://www.camelaudio.com/artists.php?aID=31 Interview on Camel Audio]
Articles and Reviews
* [http://www.svcn.com/archives/lgwt/01.23.02/cover-0204.html "Electric Company"] By
Mary Ann Cook Los Gatos Weekly Times
* [http://muse.jhu.edu/login?uri=/journals/notes/v059/59.2steinberg.pdf "The Contemporary Violin: Extended Performance Techniques" (review)] by Michael Steinberg, Project MUSE - Volume 59, Number 2, December 2002, pp. 352-354
* [http://www.mercurynews.com/news/ci_8365595?nclick_check=1 "Allen Strange, 64, electro-music guru"] By Patrick May, Mercury News, Published 02/26/2008
* [http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=SB&p_theme=sb&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=0F7180B2B8DFC560&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM "New musical milestone Annual CSUS festival turns 25; many composers will be in town to present their works and discuss them"] The Sacramento Bee, Published on November 3, 2002
* [http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=SJ&s_site=mercurynews&p_multi=SJ&p_theme=realcities&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=0EB72FE5ADD56E7D&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM "HE CHOOSES A STRANGE WAY TO ACCEPT AN AWARD"] PAUL HERTELENDY, Mercury News Music Writer, Published on April 29, 1989, Page 2C, San Jose Mercury News (CA)
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