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Re: Remembering Composer (and live looper) Dr. Richard Zvonar

Yes, he indeed was (the best) and very much missed.

On May 31, 2013, at 5:17 AM, Douglas Baldwin wrote:

> Dr. Z was THE BEST. I miss him. Thanks for posting, Rick.
> ==== dB ==============
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Rick Walker" <looppool@cruzio.com>
> To: "LOOPERS DELIGHT (posting)" <Loopers-Delight@loopers-delight.com>
> Sent: Friday, May 31, 2013 1:49 AM
> Subject: Remembering Composer (and live looper) Dr. Richard Zvonar
>> *I was just remembering Dr. Richard Zvonar today with great fondness 
>> (and more than a little sadness
>> that he's no longer with us).
>> I found this biography/obituary of him and wanted to share it with 
>> anyone who didn't know of his important
>> work, artistically.
>> R.I.P. Dr. Richard Zvonar 1946-2005
>> *Rick Walker*
>> *
>> Dr. Richard 'RZ' Zvonar
>> Composer Richard Zvonar, 1946-2005
>> by E. "Doc" Smith‚ Aug. 05‚ 2005
>> Review it on 
>> NewsTrust<http://www.facebook.com/sharer.php?u=http://www.beyondchron.org?itemid=343>
>> "I'm sad to report that Richard "RZ" Zvonar has passed away after a 
>> long bout with cancer.", wrote good friend Steve Ellison last night. 
>> "He was a breath of fresh air to me when I moved out here, and was a 
>> big help and very supportive over the years." Indeed, I'll miss him 
>> too, as will countless others who benefited from his vast musical and 
>> electronic knowledge, from Jon Hassell, to Diamanda Galas to the 
>> Grateful Dead. Zvonar once told me of how he first arrived in 
>> California from New England, nearly broke and living out of his car. 
>> Yet his determination, conviction kept him going. He succeeded, earned 
>> a doctorate, and became one of the most respected innovators in his 
>> field.
>> Richard Zvonar was a composer/performer and intermedia artist who 
>> specialized in electroacoustic music. Some of his significant early 
>> influences included Louis and Bebe Barron's electronic sound track to 
>> the 1956 film Forbidden Planet, the Wizard of Oz ("Pay no attention to 
>> the man behind the curtain"), and the Witch Doctor and Chipmunk 
>> recordings of David Seville.
>> During his freshman year as an Aeronautics and Astronautics major at 
>> MIT the Beatles appeared on Ed Sullivan. Intensive guitar practice and 
>> first attempts at song writing ensued.
>> Boston was not a major center for avant garde music in those years (has 
>> it ever been?) but Zvonar pursued an autodidactic education courtesy of 
>> the electronic music and new music bins at the record department of the 
>> Harvard Coop. Recordings of Stockhausen, Cage, Oliveros, Reich, Riley, 
>> Subotnick, and the Columbia-Princeton crowd were as influential on his 
>> musical thinking as the music of Zappa, Hendrix, the Beatles, the Who, 
>> and other '60s pop experimentalists.
>> Zvonar's undergraduate thesis was a short film for three synchronized 
>> projectors. During this period he also began composing tape music.??His 
>> first performances of electroacoustic music, using quadraphonic sound 
>> and tape delay systems, as well as several short theater pieces, came 
>> while a student at Cabrillo College in the Santa Cruz area. This 
>> supportive community college environment was an ideal springboard into 
>> graduate study, and Zvonar was accepted to the composition program at 
>> US San Diego. His teachers included Pauline Oliveros, Bernard Rands, 
>> Roger Reynolds, Robert Erickson, F.R. Moore and others, all active 
>> contemporary music thinkers and practitioners.
>> Zvonar emerged from academia after seven years with a PhD in 
>> Composition from UCSD and a brain filled unto bursting. Zvonar's work 
>> at this time included purely electronic music, musique concrete, pieces 
>> for live performer and tape, and intermedia performance works. His 
>> Doctoral piece was a 45-minute intermedia theater piece based on the 
>> memoirs of a schizophrenia German judge ("soul murder"), combining 
>> multi-screen slide projections, kinetic staging, choreography, and a 
>> mix of electronic and processed vocal sound played through a 
>> multichannel sound system.
>> In 1980 Zvonar started a five-year collaboration with singer Diamanda 
>> Galas, recording and performing works for solo voice, live electronic 
>> processing, and multitrack tape. The two split in 1985 and Zvonar began 
>> working with Macintosh computers and MIDI systems for composition and 
>> performance.
>> For several years after his move to Los Angeles in 1986 Zvonar was part 
>> of the technical staff of Good Sound Foundation, researching and 
>> promoting the use of high-quality multichannel sound systems for live 
>> performance. He also worked as an independent consultant and software 
>> developer for clients such as Pauline Oliveros, Jon Hassell, the 
>> Grateful Dead, sound artist Max Neuhaus, and Marc Canter's Media Band. 
>> In 1994 he started working with Steve Ellison's company, Level Control 
>> Systems, bringing similar concepts and technologies to the world of 
>> commercial entertainment. The work with LCS included training and 
>> technical support for theme parks and Broadway and Las Vegas shows.
>> Also during the 1990s, Zvonar's work with live signal processing 
>> continued in the context of the "ambient groove and spoken word" band 
>> Cosmic Debris. Live recordings of the group's performances have been 
>> compiled into several CDs (available from MP3.com), and a studio remix 
>> project under the name of Alias Zone was released commercially, 
>> debuting at the #1 position in the New Age Voice chart in February 
>> 2002. Zvonar's recent work includes pieces for multichannel surround 
>> sound (the 8-channel tape piece "Frikkit!") as well as solo 
>> performances using digital looping and signal processing (recent 
>> participation in the Y2K2 Loopfest and Woodstockhausen Festival). He 
>> was also in a "woodshedding" phase of learning new software and 
>> re-learning the guitar, with the vague notion of melding all his past 
>> musical lives into some Frankensteinian new genre.
>> Some of his more recent works and writings included his "History of 
>> Spatial Music" and "An Extremely Brief History of Spatial Music in the 
>> 20th Century", his famous L.A. "Technology Salons", and I couldn't help 
>> but notice Tower Records still sporting his "State of the Bass" 
>> compilation album with the likes of James Sellars, Orlando Jacinto 
>> Garcia, Amy Knoles, Paul Dresher, Robert Black and the great John Cage 
>> on "snare drum".
>> Dr. Richard Zvonar, aka "RZ", will always have a place in our hearts, 
>> for his insights, his genius, his humor, and in these final years, his 
>> compassion. He was one of those unsung heroes you never hear about, but 
>> are unknowingly influenced by everyday.
>> We will miss him...
>> /E. "Doc" Smith is a musician and recording engineer who has worked 
>> with the likes of Brian Eno, Madonna, Warren Zevon, Mickey Hart, Jimmy 
>> Cliff, and John Mayall among others. He is also the inventor of the 
>> musical instrument, the Drummstick. He can be reached at 
>> drummstick@earthlink.net/