Let's talk about the past and present of electronic music

Hey QB Forum! I just posted today on our socials and hoped to have the “proper” discussion here.

-What have your favorite innovators done to move you enough to make music?
-Has it been the music they made, or the instruments they invented?
-Who will go down in history, but today is laser-focused and quietly grinding away at their mad ideas?
-How do you think these people perceive their impact?

Anything else??
Let us hear it all.
Also, feel free to flame us about who I left out of our little collage. :slight_smile:

From left to right in approximate rows:

  1. Don Buchla, Robert Moog, Alessandro Cortini, Daphne Oram, Brian Eno, Daniel Lanois, Morton Subotnick, Delia Derbyshire

  2. Wendy Carlos, Sarah Belle Reid, Vangelis, Afrika Bambaataa, Björk, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Todd Barton, Dave Smith, Drum & Lace

  3. Rob Brown & Sean Booth (Autechre), Vlad Kreimer (SOMA), Pauline Oliveros, Richard James (Aphex Twin), Pierre Schaeffer, Tom Oberheim, John Cage, Suzanne Ciani

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I think, the “inspiring” ones to me were/are Karlheinz Stockhausen and Alessandro Cortini. While I discovered a certain style of music through the latter, I then came to know of the history of electronic music in general and was fascinated by the idea of working in a way that did rather require a creative skill of collaging and sounddesign than being a) classically tought, and b) able to play an instrument first.

Not that I want to say, these people are not well versed with classical musical knowledge or the ability to perform an instrument, but it still struck me that the formula to the output was another layer that I - as somebody that did not have access to that school of knowledge - could dig into my own way. I always liked chasing motives and these people amongst some other provided the embracing of a “motive” really truthfully.

I was always interested in patricipating with music, but looking at all those pianists, flutists and whathaveyou in my enviroment really pushed me down. These influential artists gave me something to start, to have a place to already do something while catching up with stuff.

I don’t think about how those people are going down in history, because I’m fine with having my personal historical connection to them. I especially took the inspiration from the work with tape and figuring out the limitations and advantages of it which has shown me that I’m the type of person that needs to have an overseable set of tools to get myself to really get into stuff.

Honestly, in some way, I would also have Dieter Doepfer on my personal map for making accessible the instruments (by scale of budget and availability/ accessibility) I came to love for offering me a way of expression, I was helplessly searching with other instruments.

Great reflections - thanks so much for sharing all this.
It’s so interesting - I hear it a lot that people have to shed their classical upbringings or perceptions to be able to move forward. I’m one of these people. I was raised on classical piano, and a lot of theory, which obviously is great, but it really has been a lot to try to create art without checking in (mentally or even sonically) to where I think it probably should be to be “listenable”. It’s a dark place. LOL.

Side note–how on EARTH did I leave Doepfer out of that collage… Sigh…

Would also be nice to see there for instance pioneers that had a real tremendous impact on electronic and experimental music composition like Iannis Xenakis, Edgar Varese, Max Mathews, and John Chowning, just to name a few of a really long list.

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