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Electronic music pioneer Morton Subotnick @ The Kitchen, March 4
(Published: February 09, 2015)

The Kitchen will present the next installment of Synth Nights, its series devoted to the live performance of electronic music, on March 4 with perennial innovator Morton Subotnick and his dynamic multi-media piece, From Silver Apples of the Moon to A Sky of Cloudless Sulphur: V. The performance, a spontaneous collaboration with Berlin-based visual artist Lillevan, is a light and sound duet. It utilizes musical resources from Subotnick's analog recordings combined with recent electronic patches and techniques to create a virtual instrument, while Lillevan, similarly, performs instinctively with his visual resources; old and new.

Morton Subotnick is one of the originators in the development of electronic music and multi-media performance and a trailblazer in works involving instruments and other media, including interactive computer music systems. Most of his music calls for a computer part, or live electronic processing; his oeuvre utilizes many of the important technological breakthroughs in the history of the genre.

The concert will begin at 8pm. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online at www.thekitchen.org; by phone at 212.255.5793 x11; or in person at The Kitchen (512 West 19th Street), Tuesdays - Saturdays, 2:00 - 6:00 P.M.

In the late 1950s, Subotnick became convinced that an imminent technology explosion would offer an alternative to the three-person model music: the solitary composer, alone at a desk writing music; the performer, reading and performing the music; and the audience, listening in a public auditorium. This was the dream that prompted Subotnick and Ramon Sender to search for someone to create an electronic music easel, leading them to Don Buchla and resulting in what many believe to be the first full-blown analog synthesizer, the ‘Buchla Box.' It also became the start of Subotnick's life's work of creating new music.

His work, Silver Apples of the Moon (1967), is considered the first large-scale electronic work to be created specifically for the record medium. It was commissioned and released by Nonesuch and became, almost immediately, an iconic work. Silver Apples was recently selected for the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress. Long considered one of the essential milestones in electronic music, it continues to have great effect on later generations of artists. Believing that the record was solely for the ear, "a new chamber music" as he called it in the 1967 liner notes, he began rethinking a new genre of electronic public performance that would be for the eye as well as the ear. The record demanded perfection that required laborious editing before being released in its permanent form; public performance demanded spontaneity. He began collaborating with his lifetime visual artist friend, Tony Martin, to create a performance with electronics that would be spontaneously performed with the musical materials from his work in the studio while Tony would perform spontaneously with visual projections.

With roots in The Kitchen's original electronic music program, held on Monday nights beginning in 1971, Synth Nights represents a broad spectrum of practitioners from across generations. Participants have included Laurie Anderson, David Behrman, Nels Cline and Yuka Honda, Greg Davis, Annie Gosfield, Musica Elettronica Viva, Ebe Oke, Oneohtrix Point Never, Laurel Halo, Ben Vida, James Hoff and C. Spencer Yeh.

Funding Credits

Synth Nights: Morton Subotnick is made possible with support from New Music USA, The Amphion Foundation, Inc., and The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, and in part by public funds from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

About The Kitchen

The Kitchen is one of New York City's most forward-looking nonprofit spaces, showing innovative work by emerging and established artists across disciplines. Our programs range from dance, music, performance, and theater to video, film, and art, in addition to literary events, artists' talks, and lecture series. Since its inception in 1971, The Kitchen has been a powerful force in shaping the cultural landscape of this country, and has helped launch the careers of many artists who have gone on to worldwide prominence.

More Information: http://thekitchen.org/event/synth-nights-morton-subotnick


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