Raymond Scott’s Motown Electronium

Producer Jeff E. Winner shared this video with us, one of the bonus scenes on Stan Warnow’s Deconstructing Dad DVD.

In the video, WInner & Mark Mothersbaugh of DEVO check out Raymond Scott’s Motown Electronium, a unique early electronic music device.

Deconstructing Dad is a documentary that looks at the life and work of electronic music pioneer Raymond Scott.

Here’s another video looking at Electronium and the challenges its current state poses for restoration.

6 thoughts on “Raymond Scott’s Motown Electronium

  1. Since I first heard about Raymond Scott and his creations I wondered why apparently there is no project to build a replica of the Electronium (or some other Raymond Scott creation or parts thereof) with modern technology. It’s been done with the Mixturtrautonium while Oscar Sala was still alive by a bunch of students. It was done with the Zuse Z3 (one of the first digital programmable computers of the world), also with the help of students. Anything from steam engines to computers has been rebuild for exhibitions, some of it (partially) working others not so much. Perhaps the restoration effort should focus on creating as complete a documentation of the workings of the Electronium as can be done considering the state of the machine and the source material available (I recall that a lot of the stuff, both recordings and paper, from Raymond Scott’s archive are damaged, destroyed or missing due to neglect) and then publish the resulting documentation so there can be an effort to build a working replica of the Electronium. I think that would be a lot more satisfying then just restoring the original thing to a non-working but pristine looking shape. And from an electrical engineering and monetary standpoint it’s probably also more feasible. But, take all of this with a grain of salt at the very least, because I am not involved in any of the current efforts and have not done any kind of extensive research on these issues.

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