Maryanne Amacher

Maryanne Amacher

Kane, McKean County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death 22 Oct 2009 (aged 71)
Rhinebeck, Dutchess County, New York, USA
Burial Kingston, Ulster County, New York, USA
Memorial ID 43621860 · View Source
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Composer. Though conventionally trained, she used a variety of sound producing and transmitting techniques to create music termed by some as "avant-garde", and by others as merely strange. Raised in rural northwestern Pennsylvania, she studied piano at the Philadelphia Conservatory, then obtained degrees in composition from the University of Pennsylvania. After further training in Salzburg, Austria, and in England, Amacher took fellowships at Harvard and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology during which she produced her first published works, the initial portions of her "City Links" series (she worked-on it from 1967 thru the 1990s), which combines sounds from several cities, or from multiple locations within a city, for broadcast. For example, "City Links 1" uses five venues in Buffalo; "City Links 15" joins the ambient noises of New York, Boston, and Paris for simulcast. She then collaborated with John Cage for "Lecture on the Weather", "Empty Words", and for other, smaller, pieces. Thru the late 1970s, she was to partner with legendary choreographer Merse Cunningham for several ballet scores, most notably "Torse". One of Amacher's trademarks was a wide dynamic range; "Torse" is barely audible in places, while other selections have sufficient power to be physically uncomfortable. The 1980 "Music for Sound-Joined Rooms" featured an entire Minneapolis mansion filled with DNA diagrams and petri dishes, and sound transmitted thru floors, walls, and giant speakers. Amacher made a few recordings over the years; most of her works, however, are location specific, thus difficult to recreate, and few of them record well. Amacher lived her final years in Kingston, New York, and died of a stroke. From 2000 to the end of her life, she held a professorship in electronic music at Bard College. She often claimed to have been born in 1943, but records support the above date.

Bio by: Bob Hufford


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bob Hufford
  • Added: 27 Oct 2009
  • Find a Grave Memorial 43621860
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Maryanne Amacher (25 Feb 1938–22 Oct 2009), Find a Grave Memorial no. 43621860, citing Montrepose Cemetery, Kingston, Ulster County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .