Synthesis – Approaching a New Instrument

The two decades during which synthesizers shrunk from the size of a room to that of a briefcase brought new sounds into the world and numerous approaches of how to control oscillators, filters and envelopes. 43 minutes with works by Conrad Schnitzler, Daphne Oram, Erkki Kurenniemi, Laurie Spiegel, and others, generated between the early sixties and 1977 (plus an exception).

Featured cover art: Suzanne Ciani – Lixiviation Ciani/Musica Inc. 1969-1985

Don Preston – Analog Heaven #5

part 5 of a 26-minute suite from the Mothers Of Invention keyboardist, whose input helped designing the Mini-Moog (1975, Sub Rosa)

Erkki Kurenniemi – Sähkösoittimen ääniä #1

the pioneer of electronic art in Finland designed his own instruments and experimented with user interfaces for them (1971, Love Records)

Kühn – Tomograph

custom made by Robert Moog in the sixties, the exceptional Max Brand Synthesizer is being played half a century later again (2009, Moozak)

Conrad Schnitzler – 09/1975

improvisation with prerecorded cassettes containing so called solo tracks, created with the EMS Synthi (1975, Bureau B)

Bernard Parmegiani – Versailles…peut-être 1

imaginative music by the former director of the Musique-Image departement at French tv station ORTF (1977, Transversales Disques)

Daphne Oram – Mermaid (Excerpt)

music from a machine that converts pictures into sound, invented by the English composer herself and known as Oramics (early 1960s, Young Americans)

Ruth White – Evening Harmony

setting a poem by French poet Charles Baudelaire to music (1969, Black Mass Rising)

Laurie Spiegel – Appalachian Grove II

researching a radically new system for controlling synthesizers at Bell Labs in New Jersey (1974, Unseen Worlds)

Seesselberg – Speedy Achmed (Verhaltensanweisung)

two West-German brothers presenting their self-built synthesizer mainly at art galleries and Modern Art museums (1973, Plate Lunch)

Suzanne Ciani – Lixiviation

an icon of both the US-experimental underground and the commercial advertising world, this is from Ciani’s film collaboration with kinetic artist Ronald Mallory, using a Buchla 200 (1970, Finders Keepers Records)

Tim Blake – Metro Logic

of space-rock fame from working with Gong and Hawkwind, Blake brings electronic instruments into a live setting, along with laser lighting (1977, Esoteric Recordings) 

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