Saturday, September 17, 2016
Don Buchla, the west coast avatar of modular synthesis, who had a profound influence on the notion of electronic sound as art, passed away on September 16th. He was 79. He is rightly credited in expanding the paradigms of electronic music and the technology involved in producing it. Instruments such as the Buchla 200e modular and Musical Easel are still used and revered by musicians and circuit board geeks alike. During the mid-Sixties, his involvement with The San Francisco Tape Music Center helped forge a fertile interaction between the counterculture and the west coast avant garde, finding fruition in the TRIPS FESTIVAL and its essential them: ELECTRICITY. His vision of sonic experimentation never led to him succumbing to market place pressures to produce crowd pleasing products like chromatic keyboards and on-board presets. The few times I spoke to him via telephone ("hi, it's Don") his cranky genius did indeed shine right through that determined focused voice! He will be missed!