Ruppenthal, Stephen (Cranston)
- Charles Amirkhanian
(b Berkeley, June 3, 1949). American composer and performer. He studied composition and electronic music with Strange and musicology with Lou Harrison and Vernon Read at San Jose State University (BA in trumpet performance, 1973; MA in musicology, 1975). His thesis, A History of the Development and Techniques of Sound Poetry in the Twentieth Century in Western Cultures, constituted the first comprehensive documentation of the genre in English. Most of his compositions have been inspired by ritual ceremonies of traditional non-Western cultures. His works employ speech, synthesizers and improvisation in slowly evolving, rhapsodic formats with gestures stimulated by graphic notations of Ruppenthal's own design. He submits the voice and other acoustic sound sources, including conventional orchestral instruments, to a wide gamut of analogue and digital electronic modification. Another aspect of his work is the incorporation of jazz elements. He first performed with the Electric Weasel Ensemble in ...