Suggested reading



Hopefully we don’t need to get into politics here too! :-/


Heh! Well look at that. Some old compatriots of mine in that crew.


of mine as well! i still remember dublab’s first year, so long ago now.

help them get on fm radio:


Anyone read this? Very curious. Adding it to my “read eventually” pile.


fascinating premise but i hadnt heard of the book

thanks for the tip


i keep coming back to this passage
figured I’d share

I also played a Moog in those days, because there was one at Mills, and once they gave it to me for two weeks while they were closed for vacation. And you know I missed all that, it was kind of dormant. It had those great big patchcords and the big keyboard but there was no living, breathing…aliveness.

Did you feel the Moog was more passive?


Rather than the Buchla which was active and interactive.

Yes, but they were so different. The thing that the Moog had going for it was the sound. It had a very rich sound that found a lot of interest in popular music, and in imitating existing instruments. The Buchla was never about the sound—it was about the way the sound moved. So the timbre wasn’t important. Instead of playing a keyboard and having a chord or having a melody, you could move that sound all over the place in incredible new ways of organizing sound. I can’t explain all that here, but in 1976 I did a paper for a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts in which I documented my live performance techniques using the Buchla’s Multiple Arbitrary Function Generator.

Do you think it made any difference to you that you’d worked on the instrument from the inside? You had soldered and made them for a while, working for Buchla.

Yes, and while I was working for him I would have access from time to time to his personal studio, which was astonishing. I mean it looked like Manhattan—there were these towers of modular units, hundreds of them, in this enormous system and you’d stand up because it was tall, and be patching the units together. And there was a big swing in the room, so while you were listening to how your patch was evolving you could get on the swing and swing through the space, and kind of listen to what was going on. I was proselytized, very much so, by his concept, and I’m grateful for it, because I think Don Buchla—even to this day he’s still designing instruments—had a sense of the possibilities of those instruments. I mean he’s done so many interfaces: one that’s like a mallet percussion keyboard [3], things that are played with light [4]…instead of taking from the existing world of instrument design he looks at what’s going on now and designs. He has keyboards in the shape of hands that fan out on an angle [5], so he doesn’t take anything borrowed. He invents.

So you worked with a Moog at Mills briefly, but I gather you also took Moog classes with Bernie Krause.

I took a class that Bernie offered at a studio in Berkeley at Sunset Recording. I took the class because at the time—I was a grad student at UC Berkeley—the music department was the recipient of a brand new Moog. And I had already played synthesizers—if that’s what you want to call them—for quite a while, but they said “you cannot play these instruments until you have a certificate” (laughs)


Just finished mining a few gems from this thread (thank you). I’ve also been reading ‘Composing Electronic Music’ by Curtis Roads. Agree it is opinionated in places but I’m enjoying it. Quotes like the following have helped clarify my thinking while working.

Creativity, by its nature, involves experiments. Based on a given hypothesis, experiments succeed, prove inconclusive, or fail. Risk is inherent. Backtracking (discarding a failed experiment and returning to a previous point) is a necessary strategy. Often one has to try something in order to arrive at the conclusion that it will not work. Strategic retreat is not a waste of time; indeed it is an essential phase of the composition process.


recently declassified files on Nikola Tesla. Very interesting…


dont know if this is suitable for this thread but heres some interesting papers


quick read but i dug it


Great to see the Ford - Code article. Required reading in one of my courses.

I’d nominate a really old one and a somewhat newer one:

Christopher Alexander - Notes on the Synthesis of Form. Long before A Pattern Language (which is amazing, and if you haven’t looked at it, see below). Early and influential work on proceduralism.

Alex Ross - The Rest is Noise - Listening to the Twentieth Century.

Alexander et al - A Pattern Language - anthropology and an open minded approach to architecture lead to a new way to think about designing spaces for life. And of course, there are now Pattern Languages for many other things.

So setting out to mention two I snuck in three. Sue me!


A different time, a formal and precise use of language, and a sense of the deep connections in his compsitional style - this might be of inerest to some here:

Jean-Philippe Rameau on the art of composition


Following link is a compilation of over 80 texts in the pdf format focusing on issues of art, society and culture. It was compiled via Facebook by Seth Kim-Cohen with contributions from Facebook hive from all over the world in the days following the presidential elections in the US.

There are a lot of amazing texts in there, and, I suspect, a lot of us will be able to find inspiration and strength in some of these texts for the months/years ahead.

Here is the full archive:



reading this again
you may enjoy too


“And I think it creates an environment where people are too fuckin’ worried about what other people have to say. And people who have never made anything think it’s okay to talk shit about stuff they have no right to talk about. You got a Facebook account? Nobody gives a fuck. You haven’t achieved anything.”


Very little of what I’m seeing on Facebook has anything to do with music. Unless it’s coming from friends or family who are musicians. And such folks are just trying to announce their upcoming shows. I’m not seeing discussion of the merits of their artistic decisions and whatnot. Maybe Trent just needs to take a Facebook break? Or is he seeing something I’m not seeing? I have no doubt his experience of social media is much different from my own.


I think this is a comment about social media in general. Not so much specifically about Facebook. But also, we understand now how Facebook creates the pockets (bubbles) of like-minded individuals, while at the same time giving them impression of participating in the social discourse that is all-inclusive. So, what he is experiencing on Facebook , is not what you and I might be experiencing.

Facebook (social media/internet) is, in effect, every perverted propagandist’s wet dream. The ultimate PSYOP tool.


Meh. It’s also just a telephone. eye of the beholder and all that.


Are you saying that internet is just a telephone? Or am I misunderstanding?


It reinforces this already existing behavior. It certainly doesn’t create it.

So was every person sharing the same three national network channels in all of USA, for a period of decades.

What I’m trying to suggest is that perhaps we each have a personal responsibility for the way in which we make use of communication technology. And I’m further suggesting that while the technology changes, and seems to tilt one lever or another in one direction or another at times, largely the mechanisms, tactics, behaviors, and responses, of governments and societies, towards mass communication (whether that come in the form of propaganda, journalism, grassroots organizing, one-to-one communication, or any other form) are largely “the same” (for all intents and purposes) over time.