Morton Subotnick is a living legend in electronic music. In the early 1960s, Subotnick collaborated with instrument designer Don Buchla to create one of the first modular synthesizers.
He has influenced countless musicians and multimedia artists, such as Charlemagne Palestine, Rhys Chatham, Lois Vierk, and video artist Lillevan. Subotnick was the first director of the Lincoln Center Rep Company and served as the Associate Dean of the Music at the California Institute of the Arts, helping to direct the school in its infancy into a vibrant music program. His celebrated work, Silver Apples of the Moon, is one of only 300 recordings held by the Library of Congress’s National Register of Recorded Works. This concert at MOCA Cleveland is Subotnick’s only performance in the region.
Among his many awards, Subotnick has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, three Rockefeller Grants, two awards from Meet the Composer, an American Academy of Arts and Letters Composer Award, a Brandies Award, a Lifetime Achievement Award (SEAMUS at Dartmouth), the ASCAP: John Cage Award, and an Honorary Doctorate from the California Institute of the Arts. He has worked extensively with live electronics and in multimedia collaborations, including a performance of his “staged tone poem” The Double Life of Amphibians
at the 1984 Olympics Arts Festival in Los Angeles. He is now pioneering works that offer musical tools to young children through the website www.creatingmusic.com.
Program: From Silver Apples of the Moon to A Sky of Cloudless Sulphur IV: LUCY
Starting with Silver Apples of the Moon and ending with A Sky of Cloudless Sulphur, Subotnick composed “a new ‘chamber music,’ specifically for the Turntable and intended to be heard in the privacy of one’s home,” using synthesizers designed by Don Buchla. The music for this concert is both retrospective and forward-looking. Subotnick will use a new hybrid digital-Buchla “instrument” loaded with prepared samples from all previous works and new patches specifically created for the current season of performances. This approach allows Subotnick to combine the past with the present, and envisions a path for future developments in the realm of electronic music.
This concert at MOCA Cleveland is Subotnick’s only performance in the region, and it is presented in collaboration with the TIMARA department (Technology in Music and Related Arts) of Oberlin College.