Ruth Anderson (composer)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Ruth Anderson (born 21 March 1928 Kalispell, Montana) is a composer, orchestrator, and flutist, whose music is influenced by her study of Zen.

Post-secondary education[edit]

Studied composition with Darius Milhaud.[3] Retired from Hunter College in 1989, she lives in New York during the winter and in Montana during the summer.[4]

She is a, "respected electronic composer,"[5] whose works have been released on the Opus One label and Charles Amirkhanian's "pioneering"[6] LP anthology New Music for Electronic and Recorded Media (1977).

Her sound poem I Come Out of Your Sleep (revised and recorded on Sinopah 1997 XI) is constructed from speech sounds in Louise Bogan's poem "Little Lobelia." According to the composer "a very soft dynamic level is an integral component of this piece. It is important to listen to it in the way it was composed, near the threshold of hearing." (liner notes) Her collage piece SUM (State of the Union Message) is included on the Lesbian American Composers collection (1998 CRI: 780). SUM and DUMP [7](1970), also a sonic collage, are her best known pieces.[4] She calls her study of Zen, begun in 1990, "a natural extension of my music," and cites as influential, especially on her interest in music and healing, composers Pauline Oliveros and Annea Lockwood.[4]

Anderson received degrees in flute and composition at the University of Washington and later studied with Darius Milhaud and Nadia Boulanger in the 1950s and with Vladimir Ussachevsky and Pril Smiley in the 1960s at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center. She wrote that after her exposure to tape manipulation she became open to the potential of, "all material for music". She joined the staff at Hunter College (CUNY) in 1966 and created the electroacoustic music center there after being fired and rehired at the new Hunter College facilities in 1968.[4]


  1. ^ Encyclopedia of Lesbian Histories and Cultures, Bonnie Zimmerman (ed.), Routledge (2012); OCLC 877845385
  2. ^ "Couple Weds in Outdoor Ceremony," The Daily Inter Lake (Kalispell, Montana), August 24, 1958, pg. 5 (accessible via; fee required)
  3. ^ Amirkhanian, Charles. "Women in Electronic Music - 1977". Liner note essay. New World Records.
  4. ^ a b c d Elizabeth Hinkle-Turner. Women Composers and Music Technology in the United States, p.29. Published 2006. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. 301 pages. ISBN 0-7546-0461-6.
  5. ^ "America's Women Composers: Up from the Footnotes". Author(s): Jeannie G. Pool. Source: Music Educators Journal, Vol. 65, No. 5, (Jan., 1979), pp. 28-41. Published by: MENC: The National Association for Music Education. Stable URL: Accessed: 27 June 2008 16:44.
  6. ^ Zurbrugg, Nicholas, ed (2004). Art, Performance, Media: 31 Interviews. Introduction to "Charles Amirkhanian", p.17. ISBN 0-8166-3832-2.
  7. ^ Leidecker, Jon (2009). Variations #3: The Approach . An online radio series on the history of sampling. Barcelona, Ràdio Web MACBA.

External links[edit]