Back to the future: I’m in the Moog again

WWendy Carlos’s 1968 record Switched On Bach unleashed the Moog synthesiser on the general public in a spectacular way. She created her groundbreaking albums using a multitrack recorder in the studio, allowing one person to layer up all the parts, one at a time. I was listening to it recently, and found myself wondering if […]

Back to the future: I’m in the Moog again

WWendy Carlos’s 1968 record Switched On Bach unleashed the Moog synthesiser on the general public in a spectacular way. She created her groundbreaking albums using a multitrack recorder in the studio, allowing one person to layer up all the parts, one at a time. I was listening to it recently, and found myself wondering if […]

You’ve sold 17 million albums and you want to pay me nothing? Pat Pope’s row with Garbage

“Unlike Garbage, I think the work of artists, including my own work, has a value that is at least equal to everything else being done in a commercial project, and I’m not prepared to reduce the value of it to zero by giving it away. “Stop Working For Free. That’s my final word.” Read the […]

Nobuo Uematsu: the video game composer shaking up classical music

One of the more than 100 tracks in the Classic FM citation was Aerith’s Theme. Aerith, AKA Aerith Gainsborough, features in Final Fantasy VII, and her music, scored for solo piano, has a tenderness and flowing grace that befits, I guess, a character who is “the last of the ancient race of the Cetra”. Her […]

New Orleans Music Box: the shantytown you can play

Pulled ropes create the sound of whistling wind, while an amplified flute plays through steel sheet speakers. Windows and doors slide and slam, triggering musical samples. Two rotating loudspeakers on top of the phone booth spin out singer Tarriona “Tank” Ball’s oscillating voice. At one point dogs start howling. Parker, a free jazz pioneer, takes […]

Arn Chorn-Pond: why the arts are as important as hospitals in Cambodia

Of all the ways to learn a musical instrument, Arn Chorn-Pond’s experience is one of the more unusual. When the ultra-communist Khmer Rouge regime seized Cambodia in 1975, he was spared the murder that befell 80-90% of the country’s artists and musicians, including his parents, who ran an opera group. Instead, the cadres running his […]