Techno On A 1967 Buchla System 100

In this video, synthesist and synth designer Giorgio Sancristoforo shows how they might have made techno in 1967 – if techno had been imagined in 1967.

Sancristoforo performs live with the original 1967 San Francisco Tape Music Center Buchla 100 modular system of Ernst Krenek.

All sounds made with the Buchla 100 system. No other instruments or samples.

18 thoughts on “Techno On A 1967 Buchla System 100

  1. My problem with these is that I always want to know what the patch was and have to performance annotated, so others can learn from it.

  2. One of the nicest and most helpful developers I have met so far. Had issues on one of my MacBooks and he took the time to get me up and running. Love his instruments and his passion for electronic music and new instrument development. Cheers and thanks again!

  3. Interesting that the gear was there to make techno in 1967, but it didn’t really become a thing for another 20 years.

    Were the people who had access to Buchla systems locked into an academic electronic music mindset?

    1. No. People who had access to Buchla systems were open minded. Techno people are locked into an techno mindset. It tok 20 more years for mediocrates to access technology to express their locked mindset.

      1. Understand where you are coming from; not sure I agree.

        Buchla musicians from the 60s on have worked mostly in the more experimental and academic areas of music, creating “Who Cares if You Listen?” music. This music never found much of an audience beyond other musicians.

        Dismissing anyone that uses synths to create music that has a broad audience as ‘mediocrates’ sounds about as locked mindset as one can get.

        1. Statistically speaking, broad audience are ‘mediocrates’ by definition. Mediocrates tend to have limited, locked mindset, as techo music reqiures. No problem with nature.

    2. 1967 was just three years after the Beatles came to the US; it was a much different musical landscape. It was a big deal when the Who used an arpeggiator (really cutting edge tech) on Baba O’Reilly. And cost was even more of an issue then it is now; there was nothing like Eurorack, so the only commercial options were Buchla and Moog. Essentially, only institutions or people with a lot of money could afford to experiment with modular synthesis.

    3. it’s such an absurd comparison.
      no music of note was ever created on a Buchla. i dare commentators to prove me wrong. if i ever ask anyone to tell me examples of music created on a Buchla all they come up with is “Silver Apples of the Moon”. and anything created on a Buchla after that sounds exactly like that album.
      techno on the other hand is a vast, international musical genre with dozens of subgenres at this point, each with it’s own styles, musical tropes and subculture, often with regional variations, with thousands of artists worldwide producing a gigantic output.
      brushing all that away as “mediocre” or comparing it to the miniscule scene around Buchla systems displays an astonishing unfamiliarity with the subject matter that i think i haven’t encountered in something like 30 years now.

  4. Maki, I believe you’re confusing the famously average Greek philosopher ‘Mediocrates’ with people of average ability, ‘mediocraties’.

  5. Techno is a natural place for synths to go, but it doesn’t ask very much of them. Modulars are immense, if you can wrap your head around the various paths. Listen to a bit of Tomita. Even the smaller pieces took months of tracking and tweaking. I was amused to learn this guy’s story, which is a must-read if you like the “Berlin” school.

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