Johns Hopkins University has announced that synthpop pioneer Thomas Dolby is joining their faculty as the first ‘Homewood Professor of the Arts’.
At Johns Hopkins, starting in the fall, he will be teaching ‘Sound on Film’, a collaboration between Homewood’s Film and Media Studies program and Peabody’s Recording Arts and Sciences program. In the programe, students create soundtracks for films.
Dolby will also be the artistic director of the Program in Sound on Film at Station North, helping to lead the university’s efforts in Baltimore’s arts and entertainment district. Continue reading
Electronic music pioneer Morton Subotnick is featured in a new NPR interview that looks at his early, influential electronic works, his current work and his role as an ‘edm pioneer’:
Morton Subotnick could fairly be called electronic music’s first hitmaker. His 1967 album Silver Apples of the Moon was an international sensation. Or, in his words, “It was like a bombshell.”
Silver Apples was the first piece of electronic music commissioned by a record label and was created on the first synthesizer small enough to sit on a table. Subotnick’s Greenwich Village workspace became a drop-in spot for musicians from The Mothers of Invention to The Grateful Dead to The Velvet Underground. One night, unfamiliar visitors arrived.
“Some [club owners] came in and said, ‘We just bought the name Electric Circus. We don’t know exactly what it is, but we were told if anyone knows, you would know.’ So I gave them a demonstration of an electric circus. They made me the director,” Subotnick says.
This video captures an interview with electronic music pioneer Morton Subotnick, before his concert in Parma, Italy on September 29, 2013. Continue reading
Sunday Synth Jam: Mr Müller, former assistant of Karl Heinz Stockhausen), performs on sine wave generator, FM radio and 3 tape machines. One tape machine is used to gate the sound input and the other two are used to make echo and reverb and overdub.
In this episode of the DubSpot Wireless interview series, electronic music pioneer Morton Subotnick talks with Raz Mesinai about the evolution of music technology over the last 60 years.
Subotnick offers a critique of conventional approaches to electronic music and shares his perspective on the limitations of MIDI. Along the way, the interview features excerpts from Subotnick’s music.
Subotnick blew people’s minds in 1967 with his electronic album Silver Apples of The Moon. Subotnick continues to compose, tour, and work on interactive electronics and multimedia projects. And he’s recently released an iOS music app, Pitch Painter.
Synth pioneer Dave Smith shared some interesting thoughts, recently, on why hardware synths still matter:
How silly it is to have a computer screen?QWERTY keyboard and mouse on one side, MIDI keyboard on the other?and somehow try to have fun.
Fun is extremely important when playing with a synth! Menus and typing and clicking and so on . . . even using a control surface is not ideal when the knobs? functions change or don?t have logical placement relative to the instrument they?re controlling. It just doesn?t feel or act like a musical instrument.
(Hardware) is fun. It has knobs and switches. And, unlike soft synths, it?ll still work in 10 years. Soft synths have to be ported forever to new operating systems, platforms, and endless versions.
I like designing an instrument once, then moving on, not working on the same thing forever. The Evolver first shipped in 2002; we’re still selling it eight years later, and there?s still nothing that can touch it!
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.
The latest episode of Motherboard TV features an interview with electronic music pioneer Morton Subotnick.
Subotnick co-founded the San Francisco Tape Music Center, played a key role in the development of the Buchla modular synthesizer, created the seminal album Silver Apples Of The Moon and has created educational computer music games for children.
Subotnick is still active and performing live.