Tag Archives: Todd Barton

Musical World-Building: Albums Set in Lands of the Artists’ Own Creation

music-world-building-by-patrick-saville-1244

Illustration by Patrick Saville

During the boom in science fiction and fantasy literature that hit during the middle of the 20th century, writers began exploring in greater depth and detail the worlds in which their stories took place. From the exotic interstellar cultures of Frank Herbert and Ursula K. Le Guin to the high lore of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth and the swords-and-sorcery epics of Robert E. Howard’s Conan The Barbarian novels, these meticulously mapped worlds were more than literary backdrops—they were living, breathing characters in their own right.

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Eight Artists Making Music Built on Buchla Synthesizers

Illustrations by George Wylesol

The history of modular synthesis is so long and tangled that it’s difficult to pinpoint any one creator. But any realistic history of the instrument must include Don Buchla. Buchla’s electronic instruments never achieved the market penetration of widely available models from Moog or Roland. Just take a look at the Buchla 100, the model he built on commission for the San Francisco Tape Music Center with a $500 grant from the Rockefeller Foundation in 1963. A hefty silver cabinet studded with cryptic dials, multi-colored sockets, touch-sensitive panels—and, shockingly, no keyboard—it resembled something you’d find on the deck of the Starship Enterprise rather than what you’d find on stage or in a recording studio.

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In the ’80s, Ursula K. Le Guin & Todd Barton Recorded an Imaginary Civilization

Kesh, Ursula Le Guin

Photo by Brian Attebery, 1988

If you came across Music And Poetry Of The Kesh blind, with no idea of its contents of context, you could spend an eternity trying to understand it.

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