Laurie Spiegel Playing the Bell Labs Digital Synthesizer, better known as the Alles Machine or Alice, was an experimental additive synthesizer designed by Harold G. Alles and Douglas Bayer at Bell Labs in 1977-78.
This composition was commissioned by Bell Labs and the Motion Picture Academy for the 50th anniversary of talking pictures. Working with the Alles synthesizer, with its extensive array of input and output channels for control, was a real pleasure after years of GROOVE’s extreme restrictions. The interactive software I wrote for this composition recycles the player’s keyboard input into an ongoing accompaniment. However, writing the software from a remote DEC PDP-11 computer (see also the PDP-11 FAQ and PDP Music Survey) in the new “C” computer language still undergoing frequent change, within a still-experimental UNIX operating system, without the control inputs or sonic output, under a tight deadline, while the Alles synthesizer hardware was still under construction, turned out to be quite an adventure.
It can orchestrate and perfome musicale scores as fast as a composer at its controls can think them up; create previously unheard musical sounds; and raise or lower the pitch of an instrument or human voice in real time-instantly-so that a man speaking into a microphone can be made sound like Donald Duck or Ezio Pinza. The machine divides sound into its frequencies and amplitudes, processing it un up to 200 million operations per sesond.
SECRETS provides a clear, no-nonsense guide to making any sound on any synthesizer. Starting with the fundamentals of sound creation, it progresses through such advanced topics as programming FM synths like the DX-7. Valuable insights are offered into stage and studio performance techniques which are applied to a variety of makes and models so that you will derive benefit from this video no matter what kind of equipment you have. A 130-page manual is included, making this a complete course on electronic keyboards.
Steve DiFuria is the narrator and featured performer on this video. He is a highly respected consultant in synthesizer design and a Keyboard columnist who has programmed for Frank Zappa, Stevie Wonder, and Lee Ritenour.
DCI Music Video, Inc. 1985.
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PPG Company 1984, Production, 10 year anniversary celebration
music by Michael Wehr 2009 and from PPG-demo 1983
Synth designer Wolfgang Palm, pioneer of wavetable synthesis and creator of the PPG Wave and PPG WaveGenerator, uploaded this video, which takes a look at the creation of the PPG Wave 2 synthesizer.
Director Stan Warnow has released his expanded Deluxe Edition of his award-winning documentary on his father, bandleader, composer and electronic music pioneer Raymond Scott.
The Deluxe Edition of Deconstructing Dad – The Music, Machines & Mystery Of Raymond Scott includes all the content from the original release, plus:
- A progress report on the Electronium restoration going on in Portland, Oregon by engineer Darren Davison. This includes views of the inner components of the machine and Davison explaining in some detail how things worked.
- An interview with John Cool, an electrical engineer who formed a company with Raymond Scott in the early 1970′s. The company was meant to manufacture some of my dad?s many ideas for music related electronic devices. He had fascinating tales to tell about Raymond Scott and the mixed results of their business venture, hosting him for Christmas and listening to him compose one tune after another instantly at the piano (kind of like the human Electronium).
- Directors Commentary by Stan Warnow.
“Electri_City – Elektronische Musik aus Duesseldorf” is a brand new book that is being prepped for release on the 10th of March 2014 via Suhrkamp Verlag. Described by the publisher as ‘Das definitive Buch zu Kraftwerk, Neu!, La Düsseldorf, DAF, Die Krupps, Der Plan, Liaisons Dangereuses, Rheingold, Propaganda’ you can expect a detailed background on the Düsseldorf scene. That scene has since the 70s and 80s been considered as the electronic popmusic Mekka (let’s hope Allah and co won’t kill us for using this description).
The book is written by Düsseldorf resident and Die Krupps member Rüdiger Esch. In the book he covers the period from 1970 bis till the end of the ‘analog phase’ in 1986. Expect feedback in the book from Wolfgang Flür (Kraftwerk), Bodo Staiger (Rheingold), Gabi Delgado (DAF), Jürgen Engler (Die Krupps), Ralf Dörper (Propaganda), plus remarks from Giorgio Moroder, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Andy McCluskey (OMD), Martyn Ware (The Human League), Glenn Gregory (Heaven 17) and so on.
Still according to the publisher the book will also talk about reality versus myth regarding the scene.
You can order the book right here on Amazon: http://www.amazon.de/ElectriCity-Elektronische-D%C3%BCsseldorf-suhrkamp-taschenbuch/dp/3518464647/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1374060902&sr=1-1
Contemporary music ensemble Icebreaker will recreate crucial phase in electronic music history – Kraftwerk
Popular demand for all things Kraftwerk will continue in the new year, as contemporary music ensemble Icebreaker embark on a live show that aims to recreate the electronic band’s experimental early period. The tour kicks off at the London Science Museum on 24 January and is titled Kraftwerk Uncovered – A Future Past.
Announcing the concept, German composer, producer and sound-scapist J. Peter Schwalm said: “Our focus is on Kraftwerk’s early, semi-improvised music that combined acoustic and electronic instruments, [and that period's] relationship to their career-defining albums from Trans Europa Express to Computer World.
“Where Kraftwerk’s aesthetic moved ever closer to the ‘man machine’ we aim to adopt a more ‘retro-futurist’ approach to find the ‘human’ inside the machine, beginning with Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider’s own early albums”.
The tour dates are:
- Fri 24th Jan – London, The IMAX Cinema at The Science Museum
- Thurs 6th Feb – Manchester, Royal Northern College of Music
- Fri 8th Feb – Birmingham, Town Hall
- Weds 12th Feb – Nottingham, Lakeside Arts Centre
For more info, visit Icebreaker.
Adocumentary by Elena Tikhonova and Dominik Spritzendorfer, 2013, 89 min
ELEKTRO MOSKVA is an essayistic documentary about the beginnings of the Soviet electronic age and what remained of it- a huge pile of outdated, fascinating devices. Today they are being recycled and reinterpreted by musicians, inventors and traders, who carry that legacy on into an uncertain future. An electronic fairy tale about the inventive spirit of the free mind inside the iron curtain- and beyond.
Albert Glinsky, author of Theremin: Ether Music and Espionage sat down with us to give a brief history of the Theremin covering everything from it’s orignal inception in a Russian chemistry lab to it’s developement as a musical instrument. In addition to outlining its rich history Glinsky gives a basic tutorial in playing the Theremin and points out some of the refinements that Bob Moog made to Leon Theremin’s original design.
“I opened my mind up and the idea came through me”
In celebration of Bob Moog’s 79th Birthday we are proud to present:
Moog | A Documentary Film by Hans Fjellestad
Moog, the film, takes us inside the mind of this legendary figure as he shares his ideas about creativity, design, interactivity and spirituality. To this day Moog continues to shape musical culture with some of the most inspiring instruments ever created.
Parts 2-3 below:
“I think it comes from out there, and comes through me into the instrument, and then the music comes through you and the instrument and then out.”
“Why do you feel at one with your musical instrument? Why do you feel that it is an extension of your hands? There is something going on that is more than just the way the instrument feels and sounds.”
“I Dream Of Wires (Hardcore Edition)” – 2013 official trailer.
“I Dream of Wires” (IDOW) is an upcoming, independent documentary film about the phenomenal resurgence of the modular synthesizer – exploring the passions, obsessions and dreams of people who have dedicated part of their lives to this esoteric electronic music machine. Written and directed by Robert Fantinatto, with Jason Amm (Ghostly International recording artist Solvent) serving as producer and co-writer, IDOW is set to receive it’s festival premiere, May 2013.
Preceding IDOW’s official theatrical release, we will be releasing this special, extended cut: “I Dream Of Wires (Hardcore Edition)” (IDOW-HE) will be released independently on BluRay / 2xDVD, and shipped to all IndieGoGo and pre-order customers, June 2013. IDOW-HE is for the hardcore modular synthesizer and electronic music fanatics, and will run approximately 4 hours long (!).
IDOW-HE is a strictly limited-edition item, available to order exclusively through idreamofwires.org from 2/11 – 5/31, 2013. It’s bound to sell out in pre-orders, so don’t sleep…
IDOW-HE BluRay / 2xDVD is available to pre-order now:
“Themogene (I Dream Of Wires theme)”, from the forthcoming IDOW original soundtrack album by Solvent, is available to listen/download in its entirety via Ghostly International on Soundcloud:
Additional music/sounds featured in this trailer: Container, Jack Dangers (Meat Beat Manifesto), Richard Devine, John Elliott (Spectrum Spools/ex-Emeralds), Gert Jalass (Moon Modular), Richard Lainhart, Solvent, Jon Sonnenberg (Travelogue), Keith Fullerton Whitman.
“Who said that?” (in order of appearance): Brad Garton, Dean Batute, Maggie Payne, Bernie Krause, William Maginnis, Terry Pender, Jack Dangers (Meat Beat Manifesto), Benge (John Foxx and the Maths), Vince Clarke (Erasure), Daniel Miller (Mute Records), David Kronemeyer, Jon Sonnenberg (Travelogue), Carl Craig, James Holden, Richard Devine, Luke Abbott, Tony Rolando (Make Noise), Flood, Trent Reznor (NiN/How To Destroy Angels), Dieter Doepfer, Dominic Butler (Factory Floor), Paul Schreiber (Synthesis Technology/MOTM), David Kronemeyer, Eric Barbour (Metasonix), George Mattson, William Mathewson (WMD), Tony Rolando, Eric Barbour, Daniel Miller, Drew Neumann, John Elliott (Spectrum Spools/ex-Emeralds), Andreas Schneider (SchneidersBuero), Eric Barbour, Scott Jaeger (The Harvestman), Andreas Schneider, Dieter Doepfer, Chris Carter (X-TG/Chris & Cosey), Charlie Clouser, Danjel Van Tijn (Intellijel), John Tejada, Drumcell, Legowelt, Alessandro Cortini (SONOIO/ex-NiN), John Foxx, Deadmau5, James Husted (Synthwerks), Paul Barker (Malekko/ex-Ministry), Container, Cevin Key (Skinny Puppy), Robert A.A. Lowe, Trent Reznor, Gur Milstein (TipTop Audio), Gary Numan.