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Touch by Morton Subotnick

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Item Type: Sound Recording Duration: 31 min
Event Type: Music Program Origin: KPFA

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Created on the Buchla Electronic Music System and recorded in quadraphonic sound, “Touch” by Morton Subotnick, is another early electronic music masterpiece by the pioneering American composer. Before the age of microcomputers and digital synthesizers, Subotnick was making engaging works of purely electronic sounds in a style somewhat similar to his better known European colleagues such as Karlheinz Stockhausen. While not quite as frenetic as Stockhausen’s “Kontakte”, nor perhaps as complex as Subotnick’s earlier work for the Buchla, “Silver Apples of the Moon,” “Touch” still clearly challenges the preconceptions of what was considered music at the dawn of the Information Age. Like “Silver Apples,” “Touch” was composed with the LP record in mind, as it was divided into two parts, one for each side of the album, and was always primarily meant to be listened to as a stereo recording rather than performed live. With the advent of full digital technology such early compositions might seem to some as almost primitive, but this would be an erroneous assumption, as these earlier works were often based on a better understanding of music then much of what passes for electronica today.

Musical Selections:  Touch (1969) / Morton Subotnick
Genre:  Electro-Acoustic / Electronic
Subject:  Electronic music
People:  Subotnick, Morton
 
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