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Sender (Baray?n), Ramon

Sender (Barayόn), Ramon

Sender (Barayón), Ramon, Spanish-born American poet, novelist, writer on music, and composer; b. Madrid, Oct. 29, 1934. He was sent to the U.S. in 1939 as a Spanish Civil War refugee. After studies in piano with Copeland (1948–52) and in composition with Carter, he took courses at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome (1952–53); also had private lessons with Haieff. Returning to the U.S., he had lessons with Shapero and Cowell; also studied at Brandeis Univ. (1953–54) and at the San Francisco Cons. of Music (B.Mus., 1962). In 1962 he co-founded (with Morton Subotnick) the San Francisco Tape Music Center, which gave important first performances of works by Oliveros, Riley, Reich, and others; while serving as its co-director, he continued his composition studies with Milhaud at Mills Coll. in Oakland, Calif. (M.A., 1965), where the Tape Music Center was moved in 1966. In 1966 Sender moved to Sonoma, Calif., where he undertook research into acoustic vocalizations and comparative religions; also taught hatha-yoga, meditation, and mantric chant at the Morning Star Range, a shelter for Haight-Ashbury youth; in 1969 he became co-music director of Wheeler’s Ranch. He wrote a series of essays on the Open Land Movement (The Open Land Church, 1971; etc.); also taught courses in electronic music composition at Sonoma State Univ. (1971); traveled to South America and to India, where he studied yoga and Sanskrit. From 1976 to 1980 he served as asst. director of the Occidental Community Choir. In addition to his work as a composer, Sender devoted much time to writing essays, novels, and poetry; among his literary works are Zero Weather (1980) and Death in Zamora, a Son’s Search for His Mother (1984). In 1983 he received an NEA grant for creative prose; from 1981 to 1984 he wrote book and music reviews for the San Francisco Chronicle.


Kore for 2-channel Tape and Liquid Projections (1961); Balances for Amplified and Prepared String Trio and String Bass, and Mixer Console (1962); Violin Sonata (1962); Time Fields, study in multiple, simultaneous rhythms for Piano, Cello, String Bass, Oboe, Clarinet, and Percussion (1963); City Scape, a 6-hour work for approximately 10 Actor-Musicians, House, 2 Parks, and 2 Trucks (1963; in collaboration with A. Martin and K. Dewey); Information for 2 Pianos and Narrator (1963); Transformation, theater piece (1963; in collaboration with M. Subotnick and R. Levine); Desert Ambulance for Accordion, 2-channel Tape, Movie, Slides, and Liquid Projections (1964; in collaboration with A. Martin); In the Garden for 2-channel Tape, Viola, Clarinet, and Visual Score (1965; in collaboration with A. Martin); Loopy Gamelan on C, “O ’C’ Can You Say,” for Children’s Chorus and 4 Cassette Recorders loaded with Loopies (1976); Great10 Grandpa Lemuel’s Death- Rattle Reincarnation Blues for Amplified Accordion and Dixieland Band with Ampex PR-10 Tape Duplicator (or equivalent) (1981); Our Mother the Earth for Chorus, after Tewa Pueblo Indians (1983); I Have a Dream for Chorus, after Martin Luther King Jr. (1984).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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