MATRIXSYNTH: Don Buchla Interview on San Fransisco Classical Voice

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Don Buchla Interview on San Fransisco Classical Voice


"Buchla began infusing new ideas into music not long after he graduated with a degree in physics from UC Berkeley in 1960. He found like minds close by at the San Francisco Tape Music Center, founded in the early 1960s by composers Morton Subotnick and Ramon Sender, with input from Pauline Oliveros. “I was borrowing the Center’s three-track tape recorder,” Buchla recalls. “I only had a one-track Wollensak, and I wanted to do mixes. They were working with electronic music, but they weren’t using any instruments. And I proposed making an instrument for music, specifically, and not just an adaptation of a laboratory instrument. I talked with Mort, he liked the idea, and they helped me design a system.”

Photo by Peter B Kaars
The result, dubbed the Buchla 100 series, began selling in 1966, and Subotnick made use of it on his Silver Apples of the Moon in 1967, the first electronic work commissioned by a record company (Nonesuch). Buchla found himself in competition, of sorts, with Robert Moog, a New York-based Ph.D. who’d hooked a synthesizer up to a keyboard in 1964, and had attracted major attention after his invention was showcased on Wendy/Walter Carlos’s popular Switched-On Bach LP (Columbia, 1968)."

Read the full interview on the San Fransisco Classical Voice here.

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