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Robert Ashley

American composer Robert Ashley was born on 28 March 1930 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. After studies at the University of Michigan and at the Manhattan School of Music, and serving as a musician in the US Army, he worked in the Speech Research Laboratories in the University of Michigan.

In the 1960s he was one of the organisers of the ONCE Festival in Ann Arbor, was a member of the Sonic Arts Union, and was director of the San Francisco Tape Music Center. In the 1970s he was director of the Mills College Center for Contemporary Music.

He's known for his operas and theatre works, into many of which he introduced electronics and extended techniques. He was also a pioneer of audio synthesis.

Ashley died on 3 March 2014, aged eighty-three, just three months after completing his last opera, Crash.

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