A 1975 recording of a party to introduce one of Don Buchla’s synthesizers, probably the Music Easel. This program begins with the sounds of Buchla and others preparing the instrument for presentation while also describing its features to interested people who are milling around the studio. Then a composition entitled “Terminal References” is performed, followed by additional music that plays in the background as the party continues, and ending with the performance of a long electronic piece.
As described by Buchla:
“The Music Easel contains many of the elements commonly used to generate and process sound: a keyboard, sequencer, pulser, preamplifier, envelope detector and balanced modulator; oscillators, gates, envelope generators and filters; facilities for mixing, monitoring and reverberating.
The connectives are as important as the elements to be connected. Interconnection within the Music Easel is accomplished with a combination of switching and patching, a system which is flexible, expedient, and open ended. Logical, compact organization and color coded graphic feedback facilitate rapid and effective interaction. Multiple correlations between a performer's actions and the Music Easel's responses are readily implemented, enabling a degree of expressive articulation heretofore impossible with electronic instrumentation.
Further augmenting the Music Easel's real time performability is the capability of permanently storing and immediately retrieving complete instrument definitions (patches) or portions thereof. (An "instrument definition" includes settings of parameters, degrees of articulation, switch positions and interconnections.) Storage entails the installment of resistors on program cards; retrieval is accomplished by plugging in a desired program card and activating a switch.”