From his early career in the 1950s as a trumpet player, composer and teacher, Stan Shaff gravitated towards stretching boundaries and shaping new forms. His friendship and collaboration with painter and sculptor Seymour Locks expanded his grounding in the arts. His high school band students performed improvisational light-sound programs, including one at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; he explored the nature of sound in relation to movement with Ann Halprin’s Dancers Workshop; curious about sound bereft of traditional tools and structure, he turned to tape composition, working and performing with composersinvolved with the Tape Music Center. By the late 1950s, Shaff’s work with audio tape led to the need to externally realize sound in the way he conceived of it: as an energy in space. In 1958 Shaff met fellow musician and teacher Douglas McEachern, whose background in electronics enabled him to develop original equipment systems for live, spatial performances. From the first public presentation of these ideas in 1960 through succeeding decades of work with the co-creation and development of AUDIUM - constructed specifically for choreographing sound in space - Shaff has sought to explore and expand the language of space in music composition and performance. (Please see “History - Overview”
San Francisco State College, BA, Music and Education, 1950 San Francisco State College, MA, Music, 1952
Professional Music Background:
Professional Trumpet Player 1946-1966
Instrumental work in the San Francisco Bay Area, including extensive casual work in local big bands and combos; substitute musician for the San Francisco Ballet and San Francisco Opera orchestras; Golden Gate Park Band member; performer at the San Francisco Tape Music Center with Terry Riley, Ramon Sender, Warner Jepson, Morton Subotnick, and Pauline Oliveros in works such as John Cage’s Atlas Eclipticalis (1963) and the first performance of Terry Riley’s “In C” (1964).
Composer and co-creator of AUDIUM, 1958 to present (See History section)
San Francisco Unified School District, Music Teacher, 1952-1963
Merritt College (Oakland, Ca.), Prof. of Arts & Humanities, 1963-1970 College of Alameda (Alameda, Ca.) Prof.of Arts & Humanities, 1970-1984