Background

Attending a lecture given by the American composer and electronic music pioneer Morton Subotnick[1]talking about his visions of the future of music and music technology, affected instantly my vision of the future development of contemporary classical music. How it would fuse and extend its limitless limits with digital technology. How one could see and hear a French Horn player play his Horn and then how that sound would gradually transfer into totally different sonority that would travel through sonic and physical space. This was in 1988 and somehow seemed to be lightyears away, but still, a vision that had a tremendous impact on me as then a young composer.

A few years later I witnessed Theremin performer Natasha Theremin[2]and computer pioneer Max Mathews[3]performing Sergei Rachmaninov´s Vocalise on the original Theremin and Radio Baton instruments. This historic concert was held outdoor at Stanford’s University Frost Amphitheatre on September 27 and inaugurated Stanford’s Centennial Celebration.

I remember Natasha gracefully moving her arms creating such an expressive and wonderful sounds on the legendary Theremin instrument, while Max Mathews played his Radio Baton instrument drawing various gestures on a relatively small rectangular table.

These unforgettable events marked a turning point in my professional carrier as a composer, my first thoughts about the interactive performance was born, later developing into multimedia performance including dance and video[4].  The real-time interactive live musical performance was in its birth-right, hence to faster computers, introduction of Max object-oriented programming and MIDI.

[1]Well known electronic music composer who wrote the first electronic work commissioned by a record company, Silver Apples of the Moon.

[2]Daughter of the legendary inventor Léon Theremin. His instrument Theremin was one of the first electronic musical instruments and the first to be mass produced.

[3]Pioneer and “grandfather” of Computer Music, known for his GROOVE program, first fully developed music synthesis system for interactive composition and real-time performance. He later developed the conductor´s baton, Radio Baton for controlling computer orchestra.

[4]My first full-scale multimedia “Goblins from the land of Ice” composed in 1992. Including live interactive Japanese Butoh dance and video projection.

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