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Gordon Mumma

GORDON MUMMA (born 1935 March 30, Framingham, Massachusetts) lived in Ann Arbor, Michigan from 1953 to 1966, where he was co-founder of the Cooperative Studio for Electronic Music, perhaps the first electronic music facility in the United States, and the now-historic ONCE Festivals of Contemporary Music. From 1966 to 1974 he was, with John Cage and David Tudor, one of the three composer-musicians with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, for which he composed four commissioned works.

Since 1966 he has performed with the Sonic Arts Union, whose members include Robert Ashley, David Behrman and Alvin Lucier. His artistic collaborations are diverse, including work with Tandy Beal, Anthony Braxton, Marcel Duchamp, Toshi Ichiyanagi, Jasper Johns, Pauline Oliveros, Yvonne Rainer, Tom Robbins, Frederic Rzewski, Stan Ver Der Beek, William Winant and Christian Wolff.

Mumma has made concert tours and recordings in North and South America, Japan and Europe. His writings on the contemporary performance arts and technology are is published in several languages. As an electronic-music engineer he designed equipment for various institutions and individuals, including an electronic music system for EXPO-70 in Osaka, Japan.

Mumma has been on the faculties of Brandeis University, the University of Illinois, the Ferienkurse für Neue Musik (Darmstadt, Germany), and the Cursos Latinoamericanos de Música Contemporánea (Buenos Aires, Montevideo, and Santiago, R.D.) From 1975 to 1994 he was Professor of Music at the University of California, Santa Cruz. In 1981 he was Darius Milhaud Professor at Mills College, Oakland, California; in 1985 and 1987 he was Visiting Professor of Music at the University of California, San Diego. In 1989 he was Distinguished Visiting Composer at Mills College. In 2002 he received the biennial John Cage Award from the Foundation for the Contemporary Performance Arts, and was the Jean Macduff Vaux Composer in Residence at Mills College. Since 2004 he has been a Canadian resident, and associated with the University of Victoria, British Columbia.

Gordon Mumma was among the first composers to employ circuitry of his own design in compositions and performance. An extremely prolific composer and a virtuoso performer (French horn), his work is known for the integration of advanced electric principles in the operation of the musical structures. He has termed this approach "Cybersonic" and has applied it to a wide range of compositions (E.G., Hornpipe, electronic music for cybersonic French horn, Ambivex, a surrogate myoelectronic telemetering system with pairs of performing appendages).


CDs Devoted toGordon Mumma's Music:

Other Works on various CDs (in alphabetical order)