Moran, Robert (Leonard)

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Moran, Robert (Leonard)

Moran, Robert (Leonard), American composer; b. Denver, Jan. 8, 1937. He studied piano; went to Vienna in 1957 and took lessons in 12-tone composition with Apostel. Returning to America, he enrolled at Mills Coll. in Oakland, Calif., where he attended seminars of Berio and Milhaud (M.A., 1963); completed his training with Haubenstock-Ramati in Vienna (1963); also painted in the manner of Abstract Expressionism. He was active in avant-garde music circles; with Howard Hersh, he was founder and co-director of the San Francisco Cons.’s New Music Ensemble; was composer-in-residence at Portland (Ore.) State Univ. (1972–74) and at Northwestern Univ. (1977–78), where he led its New Music Ensemble; also appeared extensively as a pianist in the U.S. and Europe in programs of contemporary music. In his compositions, he combines the “found art” style with aleatory techniques; some of his works are in graphic notation animated by a surrealistic imagination.


dramatic: opera:Let’s Build a Nut House, chamber opera in memory of Paul Hindemith (San Jose, April 19,1969); Divertissement No. 3: A Lunchbag Opera for Paper Bags and Instruments (BBC-TV, 1971); Metamenagerie, department store window opera (1974); Hitler: Geschichten aus der Zukunft (1981); Erlösung dem Erlöser, music drama for Tape Loops and Performers (1982); The juniper Tree, children’s opera (1985; in collaboration with P. Glass); Desert of Roses (Houston, Feb. 1992). ballet:Spin Again for Amplified Harpsichord(s) and Electric Keyboards (1980); Chorale Variations: 10 Miles High over Albania for 8 Harps (1983). other:Durch Wüsten und Wolken for Shadow Puppets and Instruments (1975); Marketmenagerie for Children and Musique Concrète (1975); Es war einmal, children’s show for Film, Slides, and Musique Concrete (1976); Music for Gamelan, incidental music (1978); Am 29. 11. 1780 for Tape and Dancers (1979). orch.:Interiors for Orch., Chamber Orch., or Percussion Ensemble (1964; San Francisco, April 12,1965); Bombardments No. 2 for 1 to 5 Percussion (1964); L’Après-midi du Dracoula for Any Group of Instruments capable of producing Any Kind of Sound (1966); Elegant Journey with Stopping Points of Interest for Any Ensemble (1967); jewelencrusted Butterfly Wing Explosions (1968); Silver and the Circle of Messages for Chamber Orch. (San Francisco, April 24, 1970); Emblems of Passage for 2 Orchs. (1974); Angels of Silence for Viola and Chamber Orch. (1975); Enantiodromia for 8 Orchs. and Dancers (1977). chamber: 4 Visions for Flute, Harp, and String Quartet (1964); Eclectic Boogies for 13 Percussionists (N.Y., Jan. 14, 1965); Within the Momentary Illumination for 2 Harps, Electric Guitar, Timpani, and Brass (Tokyo, Dec. 1,1965); Scream Kiss No. 1 for Harpsichord and Stereophonic Tape (1968); Evening Psalm of Dr. Dracula for Prepared Piano and Tape (1973); The Last Station of the Albatross for 1 to 8 Instruments (1978); BASHA for 4 Amplified Clavichords (1983); Survivor from Darmstadt for Bass Oboes (1984). other:Smell Piece for Mills Coll.for Frying Pans and Foods (Mills Coll., Nov. 20, 1967; originally intended to produce a conflagration sufficiently thermal to burn down the college); 39 Minutes for 30 Skyscrapers, 39 Auto Horns, Moog Synthesizer, and Players, employing 100,000 Persons, directed from atop Twin Peaks in San Francisco, and making use of Autos, Airplanes, Searchlights, and local Radio and Television Stations (San Francisco, Aug. 20,1969); Titus for Amplified Automobile and Players (1969); Hallelujah,“a joyous phenomenon with fanfares” for Marching Bands, Drum and Bugle Corps, Church Choruses, Organs, Carillons, Rock- ’n’Roll Bands, Television Stations, Automobile Horns, and Any Other Sounding Implements, commissioned by Lehigh Univ. for the city of Bethlehem, Pa., with the participation of its entire population of 72,320 inhabitants (Bethlehem, April 23, 1971); Pachelbel Promenade for Guitar Ensemble, Folk Instruments, String Ensemble, and Jazz Ensemble (1975); From the Market to Asylum for Performers (1982); Music for a Fair (1984).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis Mclntire

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