20 Aug 2013

I Was Born To Synthesize

From These Hopeful Machines, 8:00 pm on 20 August 2013

Suzanne Ciani at work on the Buchla synthesiser

A recent photo of Suzanne Ciani at work on a Buchla 200e synthesiser. Image courtesy Ryan Carmody.

The early development of analogue synthesizers: the Moog, the Buchla and others – Raymond Scott – Eric Siday – the San Francisco Tape Music Center – Paul Beaver and Bernie Krause, the go-to guys for Moog work in the 60s – Wendy Carlos and Switched On BachMorton Subotnick and Silver Apples of the MoonSuzanne Ciani and her work for advertising – EMS, the Electronic Music Studio in London and its VCS-3 synthesiser: interviews with Peter Zinovieff and David Cockerell – the great debate: should a synthesiser have a keyboard or not? – in the early 70s, bands like Pink Floyd and Emerson, Lake and Palmer really start taking to the instruments – and then in 1976 engineer Robbie Wedel works something out for producer Giorgio Moroder and they quietly revolutionise music with Donna Summer’s I Feel Love.

These Hopeful Machines - Episode 4

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Written and presented by James Gardner, produced by Tim Dodd and James Gardner for Radio New Zealand.

Scroll down for handy links, a bibliography and the playlist for this episode.

 

Grateful thanks for help in the production of Episode 4 go to:

Matthew Bate (director of the documentary What The Future Sounded Like), for the EMS demonstration disc;
Suzanne Ciani, for the interview and the use of unreleased material from her 1975 concert for Radio WBAI New York; David Cockerell; Ian Helliwell; Brian Hodgson for providing us with a copy of the out-of-print ‘Wavemaker’ LP; Bernie Krause for the interview and for supplying us with the Beaver and Krause rendition of ‘California Dreamin’; Penny Lomax of the ABC’s ‘The Music Show’, for the Tristram Cary interview; National Public Radio (USA), for the interview with Bob Moog; Morton Subotnick; Don Worsham of The Media Preservation Foundation for supplying the Eric Siday recordings; Peter Zinovieff.

Links

Bibliography

David Bernstein (ed.)
The San Francisco Tape Music Center: 1960s Counterculture and the avant-garde
University of California Press 2008
http://www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520256170

Trevor Pinch and Frank Trocco
Analog Days: The Invention and Impact of the Moog Synthesizer
Harvard University Press 2002
http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674016170

Mark Vail
Vintage Synthesizers
BackbeatBooks 2000
http://www.amazon.com/Vintage-Synthesizers-Pioneering-Groundbreaking-Instruments/dp/0879306033

Mark Vail
The Synthesizer
Oxford University Press 2014
http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780195394894.do

Mark Brend
The Sound Of Tomorrow
Bloomsbury 2012
http://minutebook.co.uk/sound-of-tomorrow/