Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Buchla Series 100 synthesizer at the CMC

After yesterday's post, I saw on a friend's Facebook that there's a Kickstarter campaign for a Buchla Documentary. Terrific and coincidental! If ever the work of someone now not so well remembered deserves to be documented on film, it's Don Buchla.

So, I dug through my archives and found these photos taken about a year ago at the Columbia University Computer Music Center of their Buchla Series 100 Modular Electronic Music System, feature Brad Garton and Terry Pender at the controls.

Now, I'm not going to tell you the biography of Don Buchla, nor share a chronology of the musical instruments he and his company created. You can get that information elsewhere. I'm just going to share a couple or six pictures of the Buchla Series 100 in all of its knob and socket glory, complete with patch cords dangling here and there. 
 I guess you could start to search the web for lots more details on these devices, and learn about what made them special, about the difficulties of using them and their limitations, but these are the electronic music equivalent of a Sopwith Camel compared to today's F-35. And as that WWI biplane, shot its share of Fokker's out of the skies,  the Buchla shot down a lot of preconceptions about how to make musical sounds


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