From the Wall Street Journal: “The Man Who Electrified the Music World”

This is copyright protected so just a few notes.


Morton Subotnick
Electronic-music pioneer Morton Subotnick in his downtown apartment. ‘I wanted a machine to make a new music that maybe wouldn’t even be called “music,”‘ he said.

Morton Subotnick, a silver-haired musician who moved to New York in 1966, lives in a Greenwich Village apartment that doubles as a habitat for peculiar sounds. His wife, Joan La Barbara, is a celebrated avant-garde vocalist whose repertoire includes pioneering work with experimental techniques like ululation and circular singing. Their pet parrot, Plato, is known to talk and utter strange noises, sometimes in conversation and sometimes for no apparent reason.

And then there’s the contraption blinking and burbling in Mr. Subotnick’s office studio: a music-making machine with history going back to the 1963 invention of the voltage-controlled modular synthesizer. Mr. Subotnick, 77, helped conceive it decades ago when he commissioned an electrical engineer to entertain his futuristic flights of fancy, and he has been sorting out the implications of it ever since. His project continues with two appearances this week—a live concert on Thursday at the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center and a lecture-demonstration on Friday at Greenwich House Music School, both presented as part of the Unsound Music Festival.

See the full article here.