Experimental composer Robert Ashley dies aged 83

Composer Robert Ashley has died aged 83. 

Known for incorporating electronic music into his operas and theatre works, Ashley was experimenting with audio synthesis long before synthesisers were commercially available, building his equipment himself. Together with Gordon Mumma, Ashley co-founded the Cooperative Studio for Electronic Music in 1958, and later, in the ’60s, he created the ONCE Festival, a performing arts event that featured film, jazz, architecture and more.

Kyle Gann, who wrote Ashley’s biography, has confirmed the news. He states that last summer Ashley was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver, which is the presumed cause of death.



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