Professor David Wessel Has Died

david-wesselProfessor David Wessel, Director of the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies  (CNMAT) at the University of California at Berkeley, passed away on October 13, 2014, at the age of 73.

Wessel was a musician, composer and mentor to many electronic and computer musicians. He was also known to some as “The Patron Saint of MaxMSP”.

CNMAT invites those in the Bay Area to come by on Friday, October 17, between the hours of 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., to share stories and celebrate Wessel’s life. The Main Room at CNMAT will be open to all those who wish to visit.

Friends and colleagues are leaving their memories of Wessel on his Facebook page.

“He shaped the lives of so many of the graduate students at Berkeley with his tremendous generosity as a thinker, interlocutor, listener, teacher, performer, and cook,” notes Yale assistant professor of music Brian Kane. “The great, electronic music studio in the sky just got a new director.” Continue reading

RIP Thomas Kurzhals – He Smuggled His Minimoog Into East Germany And Rocked Behind The Iron Curtain

Composer & keyboardist Thomas Kurzhals, who performed with the East German rock groups Karat & Stern-Combo Meißen, has died at the age of 60.

This video captures Kurzhais in April of 2009 at the Frankfurt Musikmesse, jamming and sharing his stories of rocking behind the Iron Curtain. Along the way, he shares that he had to smuggle his Minimoog into East Germany in pieces.

via MoogMusicInc, Chris Stack

Jazz Fusion Pioneer George Duke Dead At 67

george-dukeRadio Facts reports that jazz fusion pioneer George Duke has died, at age 67.

George Duke (January 12, 1946 – August 5, 2013) was an innovative keyboard player, composer, arranger, producer and a favorite of keyboardists for decades. He recorded 30+ solo albums and is well-known for his work with Jean-Luc Ponty, Frank Zappa, Billy Cobham, Micheal Jackson, Miles Davis and many others.

Duke was active to the end, with his most recent release, Dreamweaver, dedicated to the memory of his wife Corine.

Here are some videos that showcase Duke’s approach to electronic keyboards: Continue reading

Pete Namlook Has Died

Producer, composer, synthesist and label head Pete Namlook (born Peter Kuhlmann in 1960) died November 8th, 2012, of as-yet unknown causes.

Kuhlmann’s daughter Fabia released a brief statement earlier today:

“It is with much grief that we announce the passing of Peter Kuhlmann, AKA Pete Namlook.

We are still shocked and are working on an official announcement that will follow soon to bring clarity to our minds. As word spreads on the internet more and more we just want to make clear that he died peacefully from as yet unspecified causes on 8th November 2012.

We will announce more details as and when they surface.”

Namlook was extremely prolific, releasing dozens of solo albums and releases with collaborators Klaus Schulze, Gaudi, Bill Laswell, Richie Hawtin, Tesu Inoue and others. Namlook also founded the German record label FAX +49-69/450464.

Continue reading

Beastie Boys’ Adam Yauch Dead At 47

Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys, dead at 47, RIP

The Beastie Boy’s Adam Yauch, known to many as MCA, is dead at age 47.

A Beastie Boys representative has confirmed that Yauch (August 5, 1964 – May 4, 2012) “passed away in his native New York City this morning, after a near-three-year battle with cancer.”

The Beastie Boys started in 1979 as a punk band, but transitioned to hip hop in the early 80’s and achieved mainstream success with their album Licensed To Ill.

Continue reading

Barbara Buchholz Thereminist, RIP

YouTube Preview Image

Reader Philip Miller Tate, aka MirlitronOne, sent word that Germina thereminist Barbara Buchholz has died:

I have just received the sad news that Barbara Buchholz, virtuoso thereminist, died earlier today. She was 52.

I had the pleasure of meeting her at the 2007 ‘Hands Off’ meeting. She was very friendly, helpful and encouraging and a fine multi-instrumentalist. I had long hoped to meet her again or to be able to take advantage of her teaching sessions that she ran regularly in Berlin, Sardinia and Mallorca.

My sympathy to her friends and family. RIP Barbara – I enjoyed the few hours I spent in your company.

Buchholz was not just a virtuoso player, but she also helped to bring the theremin to new audiences, appearing on the German version of ‘Got Talent’ and teaching seminars around the world on the instrument.

Continue reading

DJ AM Found Dead, Drug Overdose Suspected

YouTube Preview Image

Adam Goldstein, aka DJ AM, was found dead today at his apartment at age 36. A drug overdose is suspected, because drug paraphernalia was found at the scene.

Goldstein is probably best known to many because of his relationship with Nicole Richie, but his scratching can be heard on tracks by Madonna, Will Smith and others.

The video, above, catches DJ AM performing with Travis Barker. Just a year ago, Goldstein and Barker were the only survivors of a plane crash which killed four other passengers.

His last statement, via Twitter, was this:

“New York, New York. Big city of dreams, but everything in New York ain’t always what it seems.”