SCHILLER + Thorsten Quaeschning Live Performance, ‘Behind Closed Doors’

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The latest episode of Thorsten Quaeschning’s Behind Closed Doors live performance series features a 47-minute electronic improvisation by Quaeschning & SCHILLER (Christopher von Deylen), embedded above.

The Behind Closed Doors series an epic project that pairs Quaeschning (Tangerine Dream, Picture Palace Music) with a wide variety of other electronic musicians. The goal of the pandemic-inspired project is to create improvisations that carry the listener “off into a unique world of sound, far away from nights of monotonous entertainment.”

The series features krautrock pioneers, kosmische jammers, prog rockers, dance music producers and more, including:

  • Christopher von Deylen (Schiller)
  • Schwarz (Roland Meyer de Voltaire)
  • Lüül (Agitation Free, Ash Ra Tempel, 17 Hippies)
  • Paul Frick (Brandt Brauer Frick)
  • Markus Reuter (Stick Men, King Crimson Project)
  • Hoshiko Yamane (Tangerine Dream, Jane Birkin, Tukico)
  • Franz Bargmann (Michael Rother’s Neu!, Ex-Camera)
  • Satoshi Okamoto (sub-tle., Klaus Dinger + Japandorf)
  • Benjamin Schwenen (Counter-World Experience)
  • Adrian Bang (Aqua Nebula Oscillator, Chemsex)
  • Anna-Maria van Reusel (APAT)
  • Stephan Bobinger (Way Beyond)

The performances are being filmed with a multi-camera setup for live streaming, and subsequently being made available for on-demand streaming via Vimeo.

Quaeschning is also publishing the audio from many of the performances immediately to Bandcamp. You can preview a sample below and preview all of the performances at his Bandcamp page.

Celebrate Bob Moog’s Birthday With A Live Theremin Concert By Randy George

Theremin and ContinuuMini virtuoso Randy George

Theremin virtuoso Randy George will be performing a live streaming concert, live from the Bob Moog Foundation’s Facebook page on Bob Moog’s birthday, Saturday, May 23rd, at 8pm (ET)/5pm (PT).

George will be performing with a unique setup, which includes a Moog Etherwave Pro theremin, a Haken ContinuuMini, and a collection of wireless peripheral devices of his own design.

Randy George is one of a small handful of artists dedicated to theremin performance. Randy’s work has advanced awareness of the theremin, through roles as soloist, session musician, lecturer, and video creator.

“I’m thrilled to contribute energy to Moogmentum in Place in celebration of Bob’s birthday and streaming in support of the Moogseum during this challenging time,” he adds. “His legacy has touched a lot of people in the music industry, but it has also altered the course of life for many of us who share his passion for the theremin. I’m here to help keep the flame burning.”

The performance is part of the Bob Moog Foundation’s Moogmentum In Place, a series of live streaming events celebrating the legacy of synth pioneer Bob Moog and supporting the Foundation.

The Bob Moog Foundation is an independent non-profit, dedicated to preserving the legacy of Bob Moog and his work. The Moogmentum events are free to watch, but donations are encourage to help preserve the Foundation and its mission.

Philip Glass’s Music In Eight Parts Gets Official Debut After 50 Years

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A lost work by minimalist composer Philip Glass has been found and restored, after 50 years, and is getting its world premier as a recorded work.

Music In Eight Parts was performed a handful of time in 1970, but the manuscript was lost for decades. It was recently found and put up for auction at Christie’s Auction House in New York City in late-2017.

Since then, the score was obtained by Glass’s publishers, Dunvagen Music Publishers, and a new arrangement has been made, with Glass’s supervision, for the current Philip Glass Ensemble, featuring woodwinds, keyboard, and voice.

The Philip Glass Ensemble recorded its parts remotely in April 2020, and they were assembled by music director Michael Riesman at his home studio in Manhattan.

Here’s what the publisher has to say about the work:

“Glass defines Minimalism in his music as existing from 1965 to 1975 – up to and including his opera Einstein on the Beach (1975-76) These largely theoretical pieces such as Music in Similar Motion (1969), Music in Fifths (1969), Music with Changing Parts (1970) all led to Glass’s seminal compendium Music in Twelve Parts (1971-74.)

So how can a major piece from this time go missing?

It’s theorized that after Glass’s 1975 opera, Einstein on the Beach landed the composer in a fair amount of debt, Glass was forced to sell a number of scores. In Glass’s archive, only fragmentary sketches of MUSIC IN EIGHT PARTS remained as evidence of the piece’s existence. Glass “never intended this early music to last” and yet these pieces have ended up being some of his most appreciated.

MUSIC IN EIGHT PARTS is immediately recognizable as being of Glass’s minimalist musical language in full stride and it is played with absolute mastery by the specialists of this repertoire.”

This world premiere recording was produced by Lisa Bielawa, Richard Guérin, and Michael Riesman and features artwork by artist Sol LeWitt, frequent collaborator of Glass’s including works like Dance from 1979. It was LeWitt that designed the cover for the original recording of Music in Twelve Parts in the 1970s.

You can preview Music In Twelve Parts at the Orange Mountain Music site.

Inside The Soundworlds Of Steve Roach

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In this video, Nelda Sue Yaw visits with ambient/space music artists Steve Roach and talks with him about his music and its inspirations.

The video offers a rare look into Roach’s ideas on sound design and music; insight into how he views himself and his approach to creating music; and some glimpses of him at work in his Timeroom studio.

You can find out more about Steve Roach and his work at his site.

Erica Synths SYNTRX Hands-On Demo

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Synthesist Hainbach shared this video, which offers his take on the new Erica Synth SYNTRX synthesizer.

“After two months spend with the SYNTRX and recording an album with it,” he notes, “I feel comfortable to make a more detailed video. I give some ideas how it can be more than a synth in the studio, show the raw sound of its individual parts and give my general impression on it.”

The SYNTRX is an interesting example a synth that’s clearly inspired by a vintage design, but which goes far beyond the original. The SYNTRX takes inspiration from the EMS Synthi AKS, featuring a similar form factor and build.

But the SYNTRX is an all-new synth design, taking the original concept to a new level. A key change is that the pin patch matrix of the original, which was loved and loathed in equal measure, has been replaced with a digitally-controlled analog patch matrix. This makes it possible for the synth to save up 256 patches.

Other features features not found on the Synthi AKS are Sample & Hold circuit with individual clock, octave switch for VCO1, synchronization of VCO2, AD mode on the envelope generator, as well as MIDI that accepts CV, Gate, Modulation wheel messages and program change messages for the matrix control.

The SYNTRX also is a key instrument on Hainbach’s new album, Assertion, which he says grew out of his response to the Coronavirus pandemic:

“My new album Assertion is my way out of the gloom of this situation, that sees a world becoming in many ways smaller and more closed-minded, while our most vulnerable waste away. It is an attempt at hope, a conscious choice of traveling joyously in music, while the body stays in isolation. It is a celebration of collaboration, as musicians Maysun and Andrew Raffo Dewar contribute to the sound of this album and Nani Gutierrez spins her fantastic visual world further, in the seventh year of our work together.

It is an album I hope you can put on anytime you need something to underscore your happiness or take you out of the ever threatening darkness.”

Hainbach’s kit for Assertion features the Syntrx, Chase Bliss Blooper, Bechstein Model 10 piano, Brüel & Kjaer 2204 Sound Level Meter with 1613 filter and Roland Juno 60. He discusses the making of the album in the video below:

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You can preview Assertion below:

Pricing and Availability

The SYNTRX is available to order now for € 2500. Hainbach’s Assertion is available in digital and vinyl formats via Bandcamp.

Free ‘Pyjama Cookbook’ Features Dave Smith’s Margarita, Suzanne Ciani’s Special Sunday Dinner

KORG Germany’s Tatsuya ‘Tats’ Takahashi let us know that they’ve put together the The Pyjama Cookbook, a free cookbook that features favorite recipes from an all-star group of synthesists and synth designers.

The cookbook features Dave Smith’s Margarita recipe; Dorian Concept‘s recipe for Potato Sterz;  Suzanne Ciani‘s recipe for a special Sunday dinner – Pasta Alla Genovese; synth designer Mark Verbos‘s recipe for Carnitas Tacos; and many others.

Here’s what Takahashi had to say about it:

“KORG Germany is still in its embryonic state and there is still much to do before we are up and running, but I’m reaching out because the first thing thing we’re releasing is not a synth or any kind of electronics at all,  but The Pyjama Cookbook – a free digital cookbook full of recipes submitted by the KORG Germany team and friends in the music/synth world, with the aim of connecting and lifting spirits during these bizarre times.”

He adds, “It’s also just for laughs. Have fun.”

Dave Smith enjoys a margarita. He’s been working on a new Sequential synthesizer that “sounds great!”

They had us at “Dave Smith’s Margarita Recipe”, but the cookbook is full of new recipes to try, along with updates from many of the contributors on how they are adapting to living and working in a pandemic.

Contributors include:

Alison Tavel
Alva Noto
Carys Huws
Dave Smith (Sequential)
Dorian Concept
Fumio Mieda (Korg)
Girts Ozolins (Erica Synth)
Gudrun Gut
Interstellar Funk
Lydia Glup
Marco Passerani
Mark Verbos (Verbos Electronics)
Matias Aguayo
Maximilian Rest
Morton Sobotnik & Joan La Barbara
Peter Kirn
Piotr Raczynski (Polyend)
Solitary Dancer
Suzanne Ciani
Tatsuya Takahashi
Thomas Fehlman
Václav Peloušek (BASTL)
Verena Glup

The Pyjama Cookbook is available now as a free download (no registration required) from Korg Germany.

Renowned Keyboardist Greg Phillinganes to Appear Live For Moogmentum In Place

The Bob Moog Foundation is hosting a live streaming Facebook event with keyboardist Greg Phillinganes on Friday, May 15th, at 7pm (ET) / 4pm (PT).

Phillinganes will be performing at the piano, relating stories from his long career, and sharing his insights about Bob Moog and his work.

The event is part of the non-profit Foundation’s Moogmentum In Place series of fundraising livestream events. The series celebrates Bob Moog’s birthday and the one year anniversary of the Moogseum, both of which fall on May 23rd. During the livestream, attendees will have the opportunity to donate to the Foundation to help support the Foundation’s work, including the reopening of the Moogseum.

“It’s an incredible honor to have Greg appear in support of our work, and the legacy we represent,” notes Michelle Moog-Koussa, Executive Director of the Bob Moog Foundation. “His talents and his vast accomplishments are extraordinary and speak to the depths of his musicianship. He is an inspiration to so many in the worldwide music community. Bob would be deeply touched.”

Greg Phillinganes is one of the world’s most sought after keyboardists. His 40-year career began in 1975, at the age of 19, when Stevie Wonder asked him to be part of his band, Wonderlove. In 1979, Phillinganes went on to record, perform, tour and/or write with a staggering array of GRAMMY Award-winning artists including: Quincy Jones, Eric Clapton, Burt Bacharach, Herbie Hancock, Babyface, David Gilmour, Bruno Mars, Santana, Earth, Wind and Fire and many others.

Phillinganes was also a member of the GRAMMY Award-winning supergroup Toto from 2003 to 2008, and is featured on their album and live DVD entitled “Falling In Between.”

He is a sought-after musical director and has led the band and talent for an amazing array of events including Stevie Wonder’s “Songs In The Key Of Life” tour (2014-2015), The Jackson’s 30th anniversary special, numerous Grammy Tribute shows, events at the White House, Cirque Du Soleil’s Michael Jackson Immortal tour, and multiple Gershwin Prize/Library Of Congress award events.

Bob Moog with keyboardist Greg Phillinganes

“Bob Moog’s contribution to modern music is undeniable and I am so honored to have had the opportunity to thank him in person,” remarked Phillinganes. “I’m also greatly pleased with the work and direction that Michelle Moog-Koussa is doing in moving her father’s legacy forward with the Bob Moog Foundation, of which I am a proud contributor.”

“Synthesizers have been in my musical lexicon since the first time I experienced Stevie Wonder’s ‘Music Of My Mind’ album in 1972,” he adds. “One of the standout keyboards from that record was of course, the Minimoog, and from then to this very moment, I can’t imagine music without that unforgettable sound.”

About Moogmentum in Place

Moogmentum in Place is an upcoming series of fundraising live stream events, from May 9th- May 31st, celebrating Bob Moog’s 86th birthday and the one year anniversary of the Moogseum.

Moogmentum In Place will feature performances, musical and technical insights, and question and answer sessions with a prodigious and varied group of legendary musicians, composers, and music technologists. All events will be streamed from the Foundation’s Facebook page, where attendees from around the world will have the opportunity to donate in any amount.

Moogmentum In Place will feature film composers and synthesists Alex Wurman (May 9th) and Michael Whalen (May 17th), renowned keyboardist and musical director Greg Phillinganes (May 15th), former Earth, Wind & Fire keyboardist Larry Dunn interviewed by Jerry Kovarsky (May 21st), theremin virtuoso and music technologist Randy George (May 23rd), and electro-acoustic violist/composer Martha Mooke (May 28th). A virtual tour of the Moogseum and other events are also planned. Further information about each event will be released the week prior to it occurring.

New Music From Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith – The Mosaic Of Transformation

West coast synthesist Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith has released a new album,  The Mosaic of Transformation, that’s inspired by improvisation and dance.

“I guess in one sentence, this album is my expression of love and appreciation for electricity,” says Smith.

While writing and recording, she embraced a daily practice of physical movement, passing electricity through her body and into motion, in ways reflecting her audio practice, which sends currents through modular synthesizers and into the air through speakers.

“My movement practice has been a constant transformation piece by piece. I made this album in the same way. Every day I would transform what I did yesterday…into something else. This album has gone through about 12 different versions of itself.”

You can preview the album via the embed below or order it via Bandcamp:

Who Sampled Kraftwerk

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Kraftwerk has influenced a tremendous number of musicians, but it’s also remarkable how many musicians have directly sampled the seminal electronic band’s music.

This short video documents some of the musicians that have used samples of Kraftwerk in their music, ranging from Sir Mix-A-Lot to Pink to New Order to DJ Shadow, and in the 80s, 90’s, 00’s through today.

New Soulwax Album Pays Tribute To The Rare The EMS Synthi 100

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David and Stephen Dewaele, aka Soulwax, have announced a new album that’s a tribute to the rare EMS Synthi 100 modular synthesizer.

The Synth 100 is a larger modular system, designed by by David Cockerell in 1971. Because of its size and cost, only a small number were produced.

Here’s what label Vinyl Factory has to say about the album:

“David & Stephen Dewaele (aka Soulwax/2manydjs) have always been fascinated by collecting instruments and recording gear. Their passion hasn’t been born by completism: simply every new item inspires a world of possibilities. The one item that always eluded them was the EMS Synthi 100—a huge and rare analogue synthesizer, of which there were only 31 ever produced, that can create a near infinite array of sounds.

Shortly after opening the DEEWEE HQ in Ghent, Belgium, David & Stephen, discovered that IPEM (the research institute for systematic musicology based in the city’s university) not only had a Synthi 100, but were looking for a temporary home for it while they moved buildings. And so, after a lot of begging a deal was struck with IPEM. The Synthi 100 would spend almost a year at DEEWEE, during which time EMS repair guru Constantin Papageorgiadis would sporadically continue the restoration started at IPEM, while the brothers would make an album of music entirely produced on it.

The album sounds simultaneously futuristic and retro as it highlights the versatility, uniqueness and warmth of the Synthi 100. Remarkably, a synthesizer that was first launched in 1971 continues to excel in 2020, aided only by patient restoration and fresh creative input. Each side of the vinyl features a long piece of music, each of which is divided into three movements. While they can be heard separately, David & Stephen urge people to listen to the entire experience from start to finish.”

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