Gregory Kramer

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Gregory Kramer
Born (1952-10-14) October 14, 1952 (age 71)
Los Angeles, CA
CitizenshipUnited States
  • Composer
  • Researcher
  • Inventor
  • Meditation teacher
  • Author

Gregory Paul Kramer (born 14 October 1952, in Los Angeles, CA), is a composer, researcher, inventor, meditation teacher and author. In 1975 he co-founded Electronic Musicmobile, a pioneer synthesizer ensemble later renamed Electronic Art Ensemble, in which Kramer was a musician and the principal composer. His pioneering work extended to developing synthesizer and related equipment. Kramer also co-founded the not-for-profit arts organization Harvestworks in New York City. He is recognized as the founding figure of the intensely cross-disciplinary field of data sonification. Since 1980, Kramer has taught Buddhist meditation. He is credited as co-founder of Insight Dialogue, an interpersonal meditation practice. Kramer is the author of several books in diverse fields, as well as (co-)author of scientific papers in the field of data sonification.



From 1975, Gregory Kramer was a founding member[1] of Electronic Musicmobile, an electronic music touring ensemble.[2] Its three members performed using only synthesizers; Kramer figured as director.[2] In 1979, the group was renamed Electronic Art Ensemble and its line-up expanded to four.[3] From then on, the group also used instruments other than synthesizers, modifying their sounds electronically.[4] The aims of Electronic Musicmobile were to explore a new timbral and gestural language for music, and to expose a wider portion of the population to electronic music.[5] To this end, the ensemble toured the Northeastern part of the United States for 6 consecutive years.[6][2] Performances featured music composed by Kramer and other members of the ensemble, as well as contemporary American composers.[2] Some performances featured demonstrations of capabilities of contemporary synthesizers.[1]

In 1976, Kramer co-founded the Public Access Synthesizer Studio (PASS) in New York City, where anyone could use various contemporary synthesizers for $3 per hour.[1][7] The studio also hosted seminars and performances on synthesizers and electronic music and featured a design file and tape library.[1] In 1977, to support PASS and its various programs, Kramer co-founded Harvestworks,[8] a not-for-profit arts organization located in New York City dedicated to providing access to the knowledge and tools of music technology through education programs, publications, artist assistance, and music and sound art presentation projects. He remains as the Chair Emeritus of Harvestworks.[8]


In 1973, Kramer founded[1] and since then managed Electron Farm, a company that built and sold Buchla 100 synthesizers in New York City.[9] Through his company Clarity,[10][11] founded in 1981, Kramer conceived and developed the Lexicon MRC (MIDI Remote Control).[12] This product won the 1989 TEC Award for Technical Excellence (Ancillary Equipment).[13] Kramer collaborated with Robert Moog, who since 1970 had been working on a keyboard controller that would respond to human touch.[14][15] In 1993, Moog reduced his involvement in the project, stating that “I’ve given them to Eaton and to one other artist, Gregory Kramer, an experimental composer […]”.[16] Moog continued working with Kramer until his death in 2005,[citation needed] and Kramer continues to work on the project with a team of engineers.[17]


As a member of the Santa Fe Institute, Kramer organized the first International Conference on Auditory Display in 1992. He subsequently established and became the first president of the International Community for Auditory Display (ICAD),[18] a non-profit corporation dedicated to supporting the development of auditory display research and community formation. Kramer edited the Proceedings[19], which remains possibly the most oft-cited publication in the field.[20]

Buddhist teacher

Kramer has been teaching meditation worldwide since 1980. He teaches vipassana meditation, dharma contemplation, Insight Dialogue, and relational Buddhist psychology at retreats, and in universities worldwide. In 1995 he co-founded the Metta Foundation in Portland, OR,[21] a non-profit corporation dedicated to supporting the growth and development of insight meditation and the teachings of the Buddha as they manifest in our current society, and for which he functions as a meditation teacher, author, and director. In 2020, the Metta Foundation supported the formation of the Insight Dialogue Community, in which Kramer remains involved as a Founding Teacher.[22] His meditation practice since 1974 has included studies with a number of esteemed monastics, including Anagarika Dhammadinna, Ven. Balangoda Ananda Maitreya Mahanayaka Thero, Achan Sobin S. Namto and Ven. Punnaji Mahathera.[23]

Kramer graduated from the California Institute of the Arts (BFA, Music Composition, 1972) and New York University (MA, Music Composition, 1977). He was Assistant Professor of Composition in the Music Department of NYU, from 1975 to 1979.[24] He holds a Ph.D. in Learning and Change in Human Systems from the California Institute of Integral Studies. He is married and the father of three grown sons. He lives in Orcas, Washington where he remains focused on writing, training teachers, and living a contemplative life.

Bibliography (selection)

Kramer, Gregory (2007). Insight dialogue: the interpersonal path to freedom. Boston: Shambhala Publications. ISBN 9781590304853. OCLC 123284812. {{cite book}}: Invalid |ref=harv (help)

Kramer, Gregory (2020). A Whole-Life Path: A Lay Buddhist's Guide to Crafting a Dhamma-Infused Life. Boston: Insight Dialogue Community. {{cite book}}: Invalid |ref=harv (help)


  • Electronic Art Ensemble ‎– Inquietude (1982). Gramavision ‎– GR 7003[25]
  • Kramer-Angus Duo — KAD (2004). Dolce Sfogato


  • Digital Signal Processor for Providing Timbral Change in Arbitrary Audio Signals (1991)
  • Digital Signal Processor for Providing Timbral Change in Arbitrary Audio and Dynamically Controlled Stored Digital Audio Signals (1991)
  • Sonification System using Auditory Beacons as References for Comparison and Orientation in Data (1994)


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 The Post-Star, 7/28 1977
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Putnam County News and Recorder, 1/9/1980
  3. Davis, Peter G.: ‘Music: Electronic Arts Ensemble’, in: New York Times, 5/23 1981
  4. New Yorker, 6/8 1981, p. 131-134
  5. Cortland Standard, 7/21 1977
  6. Davis, Peter G.: ‘Music: Electronic Arts Ensemble’, in: New York Times, 5/23 1981
  7. Terr, Phil: ‘Public Access: New York’, in: Synapse, Vol. 1 No. 6, Mar/Apr 1976, p. 8. Accessed July 19, 2020.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Accessed July 22, 2020
  9. Cohen, Randy: “Taking It To The Streets: The Electronic Music Mobile Assaults New York.” Synapse, Vol 1, Issue 3 (September – October 1976): 8-9. Accessed July 19, 2020.
  10. "Announcements." Computer Music Journal 18, no. 1 (1994): 11-13. Accessed July 19, 2020.
  11. "News." Computer Music Journal 28, no. 4 (2004): 8. Accessed July 19, 2020.
  12. Computer Music Journal, Vol. 13, No. 4 (Winter, 1989). MIT Press, 1989, p. 111. Accessed July 19, 2020.
  14. Accessed July 20, 2020.
  15. Kramer, Gregory, and Robert A Moog. “The Hybrid: A Music Performance System.” In Proceedings: 1989 International Computer Music Conference, ed. Peter Desain, 155-59. San Francisco: Computer Music Association, 1989. Accessed July 20, 2020.
  16. Malitz, Nancy: ‘And Moog Created “Genesis”, in: Piano & Keyboard, March/April 1993, p. 20-22. Viewed through, direct link Accessed July 19, 2020.
  17. Olendzki, Andrew: ‘Deep Listening. An Interview with Gregory Kramer’. In: Insight Journal, Spring 2006, pp. 4-8. Accessed July 19, 2020.
  18. "The ICAD Board". Retrieved 21 July 2016.
  19. Kramer, G. (Ed.) "Auditory Display: Sonification, Audification, and Auditory Interfaces", Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA. 1994.
  20. "Auditory+Display:+Sonification,+Audification,+and+Auditory+Interfaces"&hl=nl&as_sdt=0,5 "Google Scholar". Retrieved 18 August 2020.
  21. Accessed 20 July, 2020.
  22. Accessed 20 July, 2020.
  23. Olendzki, Andrew: ‘Deep Listening. An Interview with Gregory Kramer’. In: Insight Journal, Spring 2006, pp. 4-8. Accessed July 19, 2020.
  24. The Post-Star, 7/28 1977

External links

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