Anderson, (Evelyn) Ruth

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Anderson, (Evelyn) Ruth

Anderson, (Evelyn) Ruth, American composer, orchestrator, flutist, and teacher; b. Kalispell, Mont., March 21, 1928. She received a B.A. in flute (1949) and an M.A. in composition (1951) from the Univ. of Wash., and then pursued postgraduate work in the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Studio and at Princeton Univ. She received private training in composition from Darius Milhaud and Nadia Boulanger, and in flute from John Wummer and Jean-Pierre Rampai. After serving as solo flutist of the Totenberg Instrumental Ensemble (1951–58) and as principal flutist of the Boston Pops Orch. (1958), she was an orchestrator for NBC-TV (1960–66) and Lincoln Center (1966) in N.Y. In 1968 she became founding director of the Electronic Music Studio at Hunter Coll. of the City Univ. of N.Y., where she also taught composition and theory until her retirement in 1989. Her compositions and installations since the 1970s are increasingly grounded in a holistic concept of music, exploring its potential for stress reduction, enhanced self-awareness, and unity with others. Points (1974) is a sonic meditation using sine tones, the basis of all sound, at the threshold of hearing. In Centering (1979) the involuntary responses of four observers to a dancer are translated into sound through GSRs (galvanic skin resistance oscillators) attached to their fingers, forming an interdependent loop with the dancer who, in turn, responds spontaneously to the resulting rising and falling pitches. In Time and Tempo (1984) the same device controls the motor of a large clock, the viewer’s state accelerating time or slowing it to a standstill. Interactive games form the basis of other works, such as Sonic Solitaire (1999-).


ELECTROACOUSTIC: The Pregnant Dream (1968); ESII (1969); DUMP (1970); SUM (State of the Union Message; 1973); Conversations (1974); Points (1974); Tuneable Hopscotch, Signatures (1975); Dress Rehearsal (1976); I come out of your sleep (1979); Resolutions (1984); Time and Tempo (1984). text pieces:Naming (1975); A Long Sound (1976); Sound Portraits I-II (1977); Silent Sound (1978); Greetings from the Right Hemisphere (1979); Communications (1980); Hearing as if...I-VI (1990–91). MIXED MEDIA PERFORMANCE AND INSTALLATIONS: Triangular Ping-Pong (1973); Tuneable Hopscotch (1975); Centering for Dancer, 4 Observers, and Interactive Biofeedback Electronics (1979); Time and Tempo (1984); Home Improvements: Windows; Faucets; Doors (1999- ); Sonic Solitaire (1999-). OTHER: Fugue for Piano or Strings (1948); The Merchant’s Song for Voice and Piano (1951); 2 Pieces for Strings (1957); 2 Movements for Strings (1958).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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Anderson, (Evelyn) Ruth

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