Lerman, Richard, innovative American composer and sound artist; b. San Francisco, Dec. 5, 1944. He studied composition with Lucier and Shapero at Bran-deis Univ. (B.A. in music, 1966), where he also received an M.F.A. in theater and film (1970) and was technical director of its electronic music studio (1965–70). From 1965 to 1970 he was active with numerous film, theater, and media productions. From 1977 he toured throughout North America and Europe, and also performed in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and China. Lerman has made extensive use of self-built transducers and electronics to explore and reveal small sounds inside of materials and objects, and conversely to activate these materials to behave as loudspeakers. His diverse works include real-time performance pieces and sound installations, as well as works on film and video. From 1989 he has produced several collaborations with the installation artist Mona Higuchi, including Los Desaparecidos (1989), Takuhon (1991), Kristallnacht (1992), and Threading History: The Japanese American Experience (1995). His A Matter of Scale (1986) was premiered in the Houston Astrodome.
dramatic: film:The Ring Masters (1966); 3rd Book of Exercises (1967); Think Tank (1971); Sections for Screen, Performers & Audience (1974); Glass Shots with Flower (1981); Transducer Series Films (1–54) (1983–87). videos:Four Places at South Point (1988); A Street Demonstration in Santiago, Chile (1989); Windharps at the Tokugawa Women’s Grave (1989); Hesselt Corn (1992); Manzanar and Dachau (1993); Tuie Lake (1994); Border Fences at Gringo Pass & Nacos (1998). electroacoustic and music theater:End of the Line: some recent dealings with death (1973); Travelon Gamelon (concert version, 1977; promenade version, 1978); Accretion Disk, Event Horizon, Singularity (1978); Entrance Music (1979); Incident at 3 Miles Island, perhaps an elegy for Karen Silkwood (1980); Music for Plinky and Straw (1984); Transduction System (1983; in collaboration with T. Plsek); A Matter of Scale (1986); Changing States I-VI (1985–93); Kristallnacht Music (1992); A Matter of Scale 1 (1993); Cold Storage (1994); Sonic Journeys with Pitch to Midi (1995); Border Fences (1998); Isms (1999; in collaboration with Milan Kohout); Reeds (1200); From Dark to Light (2000). sound installations:Hand-Built Microphones (1983); News Filters (1984); 2 Wind Harps in the Rain & Amplified Dory at Sea (1986); Metal Mesh Pieces (1987); A Footnote from Chernobyl (1987); Pacific Transducer Series (1988); 20 X 24 (1988); Sado Island Rice (1991); Heselt Corn (1993); A Loudspeaker from the Fields of California (1999); Border Fences (2000).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire