Friday, March 14, 2008

Allen Strange is gone

I just got the sad news that Allen Strange has died. I did not know enough of his music, but I knew his writings (he wrote the book on modular analog synthesis, used by two generations of students, even in these days of virtual analog synthesis, and later, with his wife Pat Strange, wrote the book on contemporary violin techniques) and was staggered when I heard back in the '70s, at the Cabrillo Festival (when the Cabrillo when still maverick territory) his group, the Electric Weasel Ensemble, play the apparent premiere of a work by the extraordinary composer Johanna Beyer, Music of the Spheres, written in 1938. (See also here) . I got to know Allen a bit by email while he was working on the violin book, and it was a real and immediate friendship, with a couple of friends-in-common, and a shared interest in musical tuning. A native of Calexico, California, he was a genuine west coaster, and I've praised his online taqueria-style cookbook here before.

1 comment:

Richard Barber said...

As a work-study student of his at San Jose State, I got to proofread one of the violin book's chapters. He was a great teacher, and his electronic music classes were absolutely the center of creativity on campus. I found this post while searching for Perotin scores/facsimiles. As school directors came and went thru the department, Strange was always there as the leader, albeit reluctantly. The community always looked to him for wisdom and perspective in times of intense mediocrity- he will be missed.