Free Music Friday: Buchla E. Fresh – one of synthesist Ethan Hein’s Buchla tracks…..that he did not play for Morton Subotnick:
Our assignment for Subotnick’s seminar was to do a weekly session with the Buchla synth, seeing what we could get out of it. I found that it was easy to get the Buchla to make complex, novel and unearthly sounds. But it was hard to get it to make sounds that were musical by my standards. Rich, textural drones are nice and all, but after a while you start craving some structure.
I “cheated” a lot and used Ableton as a MIDI sequencer, using the Buchla’s own sequencer mostly for randomness. Even with MIDI sequencing though, it took me a lot of editing of my Buchla sessions to get them into a shape that I wanted to listen to. I quickly reverted to dance-music forms, repeating chunks of Buchla in groups of four over beats. I didn’t play any of this pop-flavored stuff for Subotnick.
The one piece I did play for him was a diffuse abstraction, but it still had a key center and a general sense of steady pulse. He rejected it for being too conservative.
via Ethan Hein