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Joan La Barbara

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Joan La Barbara 2004

Joan La Barbara, circa 2004.

Joan La Barbara (b. 1947) is an pioneering Western classical composer, noted for her use of non-traditional instrumentation—particularly non-Western instruments—and electronics. She is also renowned for her voice and has sung many works for contemporary Western classical composers besides her own. Her husband is noted composer Morton Subotnick, who also pioneered the use of electronic instrumentation, such as the Buchla synthesizer, and signal manipulation in Western classical music. During the 1970s and 1980s, she was a member of the Philip Glass Ensemble and of Steve Reich & Musicians.

On Sesame Street, La Barbara composed and performed music for the animated segment "Signing Alphabet" by Steve Finkin.

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