lundi 18 août 2008

Synergy - Computer Experiments Volume 1 (1981)


In the history of Ambient music, this album was an important landmark.

Synergy is Larry Fast, an American electronic musician who had a fascinating solo production in the '80s and who played on several Peter Gabriel's albums and live on stage during his tours (1976-1986).

Computer Experiments Vol. 1 (there was no volume 2) is a splendid ambient and atmospheric album, relying on the use of a computer self-composing program, Pink Tunes, conceived by John Simonton (PAIA Electronics). This program is an application of the stochastic principle, that is of controlled randomness,  to electronic music. The composer sets out all the basic composing rules (musical notes, time duration etc), but the result is a random creation, through the changes and decisions made by the computer program among all the possible combinations. The synthesizer was a Prophet V.

The result is a suite of three polyphonic climates, with subtle harmonics, different melodic lines slowly overlapping, in a peaceful and quiet mood. 

This music may suggest the slow movements of planets around the sun, following their own rythm and path, in a cosmic system where randomness created order according to some impredictable mathematical rules.

From the early '90s, the MIDI interface will deeply change the world of electronic music, providing composers with new tools of composition and sound design. 

Computer Experiments Vol. 1 is still today a very innovative and beautiful album, and I love its calm and mysterious mood.

1. Artificial Intelligence (Monday January 28, 1980): 10:20
2. Artificial Intelligence (Friday January 25, 1980): 10:47
3. The World after April (Tuesday January 22, 1980): 22:50


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2 commentaires:

Klockwerk a dit…

I ran Pink Tunes on a PAIA 8700 microcomputer, using it to control a 3 panel Serge. You could get some wonderful ambient sound collages.

John Simonton - you were my introduction to the digital age, and you are greatly missed.

Anonyme a dit…

Thanks so much for posting this! It's great! It reminds me a little of playing around with the old Macintosh program "Music Mouse" which was written by electronic music pioneer Laurie Spiegel. I was a big Isao Tomita fan when I was 15 and Synergy was my first step outside of Tomita.