2017 is a milestone year for 84 year old avant-garde music composer, and revered electronic music pioneer Morton Subotnick. This year both marks the 50th anniversary of his 1967 album Silver Apples of the Moon and sees the premiere of Crowds and Power, a new “multi-media tone poem for voice, electronic sound, and live imagery”, which will be performed at NYC’s Lincoln Center from July 20-22.
In celebration of Subotnick’s pioneering vision, Waveshaper Media is in the process of producing a new, official documentary on the composer. A new crowdfunding campaign has been launched through IndieGoGo to complete funding for the film, which is near completion. One of the core items available through the crowdfunding campaign is a 50th anniversary edition repress of Silver Apples of the Moon. This vinyl reissue includes several limited-edition color-vinyl options, and for the 1st time since 1967, on cassette tape. This deluxe repress will include new liner notes by Morton Subotnick himself, and all copies will be signed by him as well. Go check out the IndieGoGo page here, and watch the film’s trailer below.
In Subotnick, we follow 84-year-old Morton Subotnick as he travels to perform at music festivals where, much to his puzzlement, he finds himself celebrated by young audiences as the “father of techno.” Through personal recollections, and archival films and images, the film traces a career that spans nearly six decades. From his early years as a pioneer of the American avant-garde, to his newly acquired status as a renowned electronic music icon, Subotnick paints an intimate portrait of one of America’s most influential composers – a man more sharp, driven and charismatic than most people half his age.
Subotnick explores both the recent explosion of interest in his work, including a busy touring schedule, and the ongoing creation of a new work, to be filmed for the documentary at its Lincoln Center premiere performance in July. Through a series of candid interviews and illuminating conversations with key figures from his past and present, Subotnick will provide an overview of the composer’s rich life and uncompromising career – from his military service during the Korean War, to playing clarinet for the San Francisco Symphony, to co-founding the seminal San Francisco Tape Music Center in the heart of the West Coast psychedelic underground, up to his lifelong dedication to alternative music education through software innovation. In profiling Subotnick’s entire life and career, we reveal a man of uncompromising vision, devoted to breaking new musical ground and still shattering the rules of music as we know it.
Working with engineer Don Buchla in the early 1960s, Subotnick commissioned one of the world’s first electronic music synthesizers, which he first put to use on his 1967 album “Silver Apples of the Moon” – a breakthrough recording that became a landmark of the psychedelic era, and was recently inducted into the National Registry of Recordings at the US Library of Congress. As modern day music critics and listeners have started charting the evolution of music genres like techno and electronica, many branches of the family tree point to Morton Subotnick.