MATRIXSYNTH: Morton Subotnick Documentary Completed

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Morton Subotnick Documentary Completed

First announced back in 2017, the upcoming Morton Subotnick documentary has been completed.

Subotnick: Portrait of an Electronic Music Pioneer

We are thrilled to announce the completion and world-premiere screening of “Subotnick: Portrait of an Electronic Music Pioneer” (or “Subotnick” for short), our official bio-documentary on revered avant-garde music composer, and electronic music pioneer, Morton Subotnick. We could not be more proud of the film, and can’t wait to share it with all of you. We also take great pride in the fact that Mort has given his full approval of the finished film. We are truly humbled by that!

Our world-premiere screening for the film will take place in early-November at a very special event. This is truly going to be a night for the history books, and you can expect full details in an event announcement next week.

About the film:

Through a series of candid interviews and illuminating conversations with key figures from his past and present, Subotnick provides an overview of this fascinating composer’s rich life and uncompromising career. Over 5 years in the making, Subotnick is a first-hand account, and an artistic portrait, of this seminal composer, who’s approach to art, and outlook on life, reveal a unique thinker with a fiercely individualist streak. The film narrative moves along two parallel lines; exploring a year in his life as he creates and shapes the multi-media chamber opera “Crowds and Power,” while simultaneously exploring his past — going back in time to his days as a child prodigy on the clarinet, his disastrous stint in the army during the Korean War, founding the San Francisco Tape Music Center, and culminating in his breakthrough recording of “Silver Apples of the Moon,” the world’s first electronic music composition specifically created for the record medium. Featuring several live performances from around the globe, captured in glorious surround sound, and augmented with innovative liquid-light psychedelic effects, Subotnick is a multimedia experience that highlights and celebrates one of the world’s most influential living composers.

An update for our Subtonick Indiegogo supporters:

For those of you who contributed to our Indiegogo campaign for Subotnick, please check your inbox (/spam folder) &/or log in to your Indiegogo account, to read a more extensive update on the film's completion, and for those of you still waiting on delivery of an Indiegogo perk (namely, the film itself, whether on a physical disc, or a digital download), the update includes information about that as well.


Subotnick will premiere on November 3, with a truly special screening / live performance event at the legendary and historic Kino Babylon theatre in Berlin, presented alongside CTM Festival and Ableton. Morton Subotnick, now 90 years old, is not only the subject of our documentary; he will also be taking part in an audience Q&A alongside Subotnick’s director, Robert Fantinatto, and finally, treating us to a rare live A/V performance of “As I Live In Breathe,” in collaboration with longtime visual collaborator Lillevan.

Event info:

3 November 2022 at Babylon Berlin (
Doors 18:00, start 19:00
Tickets (premiere screening + performance): 28€ / 14€ reduced Ticket

19:00 World premiere screening of Subotnick: Portrait of an Electronic Music Pioneer
20:45 Q&A w/Morton Subotnick & director Robert Fantinatto, moderated by Lisa Blanning
21:45 Morton Subotnick & Lillevan – As I Live and Breathe live A/V performance

About the concert: Morton Subotnick & Lillevan – “As I Live and Breathe”

Between 1961 and 1980, Morton Subotnick’s principal work as a composer was devoted to the development of electronic music as a studio art. The first four years of that period were spent with Don Buchla designing and building an appropriate instrument with which to make music specifically for recorded formats, to be heard in one’s home. The work which brought Subotnick celebrity was Silver Apples of the Moon (1966-7), which marked the first time an original large-scale composition had been created specifically for the disc medium – a conscious acknowledgment that the home stereo system constituted a present-day form of chamber music. Later, Subotnick began creating works for electronics and instruments and large-scale multimedia projects. In the last decade, technology has made it possible for him to bring equipment onto the stage and perform in public.

The work technique and process of the last decade of his creativity has resulted in As I Live and Breathe, which Subotnick feels will be the ultimate fulfillment of his public performance; one of the last, if not the last, of his public performance works. Centered around Subotnick’s breath – which becomes ever more musically and visually ornamented, only to end with a single, exhaled breath – the work is meant as a musical metaphor for the composer’s life in music.

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