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In Memoriam: Don Buchla

Don Buchla was one of the pioneer electronic music instrument designers whose instruments are still made by people today.   I met Don at one of the NAMM shows in Anaheim in 2003 and had several discussions with him regarding instrument design.  He did not favor the term “synthesizer” as to him it meant imitating existing sounds.  His “west coast synthesis” mentality was aimed more toward producing sounds while not being constrained by conventional controllers like piano keyboards.  The composer Suzanne Ciani has worked with Buchla instruments since the early 1970s, as demonstrated in this example of a live recording from 1975: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73hRNJ0YkiM

There is a good article on Don in the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/18/arts/music/don-buchla-dead.html

Finally, one of those Kodak Moments:

Don Buchla at NAMM 2003
L to R: “Mostly True Tales” Paul Schreiber, Scott Rider (me, blue shirt), musician Robert Rich (sweater) and Don Buchla (denim jacket)

 

Don died due to complications from cancer at age 79 on 9/14/2016.

 

–Crow

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