Until Spring (1975) 30'00"
Morton Subotnick was one of the founding members of the original San Francisco Tape Music Center. Tonight we present one of his early works from a 4-track master sent to us by Mr. Subotnick himself. Included here below is the liner notes from the original Odyssey record.
Morton Subotnick (USA)
is one of the United States' premier composers of electronic
music and an innovator in works involving instruments and other media, including
interactive computer music systems. Most of his music calls for a computer part,
or live electronic processing; his oeuvre utilizes many of the important
technological breakthroughs in the history of the genre.
The work, which brought Subotnick celebrity, was Silver Apples of the Moon.
Written in 1967 using the Buchla modular synthesizer, this work contains
synthesized tone colours striking for its day, and a control over pitch that many
other contemporary electronic composers had relinquished. There is a rich
counterpoint of gestures, in marked contrast to the simple surfaces of much
contemporary electronic music. The exciting, exotic timbres and the
dance-inspiring rhythms caught the ear of the public -- the record was an
American bestseller in the classical music category, an extremely unusual
occurrence for any contemporary concert music at the time.
The next eight years saw the production of several more important compositions
for LP, realized on the Buchla synthesizer: The Wild Bull, Touch, Sidewinder and
Four Butterflies. All of these pieces are marked by sophisticated timbres,
contrapuntally rich textures, and sections of continuous pulse suggesting dance. In
fact, Silver Apples of the Moon was used as dance music by several companies
including the Stuttgart Ballet and Ballet Rambert and The Wild Bull, and later
works, including A Sky of Cloudless Sulfur and The Key to Songs, have been
choreographed by leading dance companies throughout the world.
In addition to music in the electronic medium, Subotnick has written for
symphony orchestra (including "Before the Butterfly" a bi-centennial commission
for the NY Phil, La Phil, Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony and the
Cleveland Orchestra), chamber ensembles, theater and multimedia productions. His
"staged tone poem" The Double Life of was premiered at the 1984 Olympics Arts
Festival in Los Angeles.
Jacob's Room, Subotnick's multimedia opera, received its premiere in Philadelphia
in April 1993 at The American Music Theater Festival. The Key to Songs, for
chamber orchestra and computer (1985), Return, commissioned to celebrate the
return of Halley's Comet, premiered with an accompanying sky show in the
planetarium of Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles in 1986.
His 3 CDROMS: All My Hummingbirds Have Alibis (1994), Making Music
(1996), Making More Music (1998), an interactive 'Media Poem', Intimate
Immensity, premiered at the Lincoln Center Festival in NY (1997) and Echoes
from the Silent Call of Girona (1998). Gestures for DVD surround sound and
DVD ROM will be released on Mode Records in the spring of 2001. Making
Music has now sold over 400,000 copies and is in 12 languages. In addition, his
website for children, creatingmusic.com, is now online.
He also produced a series of concerts and events (1990-1997) where performers
interacted musically in three cities simultaneously.
Subotnick holds the Mel Powell Chair in composition at the California Institute of
the Arts. He tours extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe as a lecturer and
composer/performer. He is published by European-American.