Buchla Rundgang



…Museen wie sie eben nicht sein sollen.
Es handelt sich NICHT um ein Museum, sondern um eine Ausstellung der Instrumente eines Restaurators, Musikers und Buchla-Liebhabers im Rahmen des "New Forms Festival" in Vancouver im Jahr 2013.

Hier der zugehörige Textaushang zu dieser Ausstellung, den letzten Satz kann man gleich einem Mantra immer wieder vor sich hinsagen, wenn man wieder einmal von dem Irrglauben befallen sein sollte, man brauche noch dieses oder jenes Instrument, um endlich die Musik machen zu können, die einem vorschwebt:

Donald Buchla: Father of the 5th Family

In the early 1960s, Donald Buchla envisioned a new communications system in which human gestures, or “inputs,” could be translated into electronic actions, or “outputs.” ORB, an early invention designed to aid the blind in navigating a crowded environment consisted of a small lantern that elicited sounds differing in pitch and amplitude depending on the location of people and objects in relationship to it.

Although his background was in physics and physiology, Buchla’s passion was music, where his taste for experimentation and new concepts, rooted in the adventurous, progressive West Coast culture of the 1960s, led him to create instruments of welded steel and string. In his early musique concrète works these sound sculptures joined with taped insect sounds. Building on the underlying concepts of input and output in ORB, Buchla designed and built his first electronic instrument to analyze and translate the shape and movement of the human hand into corresponding wave shapes and timbres.

In 1962, Buchla met fellow San Francisco composers Ramon Sender and Mort Subotnick, founders of the San Francisco Tape Music Center. Together they began to design a new kind of instrument that would transcend the limitations of tape-based composition and bring to life the concepts and soundscapes of their imagination.

In 1965, with a $500 grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, Buchla realized his ideas for a “black box for composers box.” His first modular system consisted of two touch-plate keyboards, voltage controlled amplifiers, envelope generators, ring modulators, mixers, voltage processors, oscillators, and, most importantly, an 8 step sequencer. The first of its kind, his sequencer allowed composers to avoid the laborious tape splicing process in creating a musical passage.

By 1967, with the release of Mort Subotnick’s Silver Apples of the Moon, Buchla’s “box” inhabited a dramatically altered landscape of electronic music. Performed entirely on the Buchla, it was the first electronic composition commissioned by a record company.

Buchla’s designs for the San Francisco Tape Music Center became the 100 Series Electronic Music System. It included over 20 modules, including the sequencer, and touch-plate and a range of effects combining audio, control and time signals. Around 1968, CBS licensed and manufactured the 100 Series, bringing Buchla’s instrument to the studios of prestigious universities (like Harvard, and Columbia-Princeton) and leading composers including Vladimir Ussachevsky and David Tudor.

Over the last 50 years, Buchla has designed and built a legitimate 5th family of electronic instruments that sit equally alongside woodwinds, brass, strings, and percussion. Steadfast in his commitment to the unique possibilities of electronic instruments, Buchla has resisted market demands for components mimicking the sounds of traditional instruments in a case resembling a typical organ.

What distinguishes Buchla from his contemporaries is his belief that the instrument should be “designed from the outside in.” Focused on the creative experience, his instruments are simply a medium through which actions and ideas are transformed into new sonic possibilities, new musical forms and languages. As he remarked in a 1982 interview with Keyboard magazine, "We’re not limited by technology; we’re not limited by the computer. We’re limited only by our mindsets."
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Schöner Text - darin wird auchmal angedeutet, das diese oft genutzte Westcoast / Eastcoast - Geschichte eigentlich nichts mit Technik zu tun hat ...
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