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Subject:

Re: CAS Digest - 29 Apr 2019 to 30 Apr 2019 (#2019-61)

From:

James Gardner <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Computer Arts Society <[log in to unmask]>, James Gardner <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 1 May 2019 09:36:20 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (115 lines)

Re the podcast interview with Peter Zinovieff – thanks for alerting us to that.

EMS is my area of research: and more detail on the development of the VCS3 may be found here:

https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/organised-sound/article/don-banks-music-box-to-the-putney-the-genesis-and-development-of-the-vcs3-synthesiser/38928808A05A6F2118B148CE302E3764/core-reader

I don't think Zinovieff can lay claim to having "the personal first computer in the world", however – I understand that Harry Huskey had a Bendix G-15 at his home in the late 50s. Zinovieff was probably the first personal owner of a computer in the UK though.

Cheers

James Gardner
Lecturer, Adjunct Senior Fellow
Te Kura Puoro | School of Music
University of Canterbury, Te Whare Wânanga o Waitaha | Private Bag 4800 | Christchurch 8140 | New Zealand

http://composersedition.com/composers/jamesgardner

________________________________________
From: Computer Arts Society [[log in to unmask]] on behalf of CAS automatic digest system [[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Wednesday, 1 May 2019 11:03 a.m.
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: CAS Digest - 29 Apr 2019 to 30 Apr 2019 (#2019-61)

There is 1 message totaling 346 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

  1. New podcast: conversation with Peter Zinovieff

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Date:    Tue, 30 Apr 2019 15:20:42 +0100
From:    Paul Brown <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: New podcast: conversation with Peter Zinovieff

New podcast: Conversation with composer, engineer and geologist, Peter Zinovieff <https://rwm.macba.cat/en/sonia/peter-zinovieff-/capsula>, who assembled the first personal computer in the world

Link: https://rwm.macba.cat/en/sonia/peter-zinovieff-/capsula <https://rwm.macba.cat/en/sonia/peter-zinovieff-/capsula>

An isolated garden shed overlooking the Thames, the first personal computer in the world and the romantic vision of creating an emotional musical machine: this was the setting in which Peter Zinovieff <https://rwm.macba.cat/en/sonia/peter-zinovieff-/capsula>, composer, engineer and geologist, took his first steps towards becoming a legendary pioneer of electronic music in the 1960s.

Back then, Zinovieff was busy creating a studio in a private house in London in which he used a PDP-8 computer to control sound generating equipment. This computer had four kilobytes of memory and no hard drive. When he later expanded it with 32 kilobytes of storage, he thought he’d never fill it. Similar computers had previously only been used in factories, universities and laboratories, so it’s little wonder that Zinovieff’s compositions from that period are probing sound experiments, and that his studio was so intricate to navigate. Later that decade, Zinovieff would also use PDP-8s for the first-ever unaccompanied performance of live computer music.

The need to financially sustain this studio would eventually lead Zinovieff to launch EMS with partners David Cockerel and Tristram Cary. A company dedicated to manufacturing portable synthesisers, EMS manufactured the best-selling VCS3 as well as other pieces of electronic music equipment such as the Synthi, the MUSYS and the Vocoder. At the end of the 1960s, EMS was one of four companies offering commercial synthesizers, along with ARP, Buchla and Moog, but it went bankrupt in the 1970s leading Zinovieff to part with his studio.

Throughout his career Zinovieff collaborated mostly with Harrison Birtwistle and Hans Werner Henze, but his work and studio spurred the interest of myriad bands, musicians and composers from academia to pop stardom, from Ringo Starr to Karlheinz Stockhausen. Together with Delia Derbyshire and Brian Hodgson, Zinovieff also ran Unit Delta Plus, an organization to create commercial electronic music that mostly proved unproductive. Following a hiatus of about twenty years during the 80s and 90s, artist Russell Haswell commissioned a new work from Peter Zinovieff in 2011. Since then, he has been back at composing and challenging electronic music as we know it.

In this podcast, Zinovieff talks about how he assembled the world's first personal computer, his time at EMS and the team that accompanied him, about the listening room, academia; about engineering, experimentation and how not to keep a sound archive; about Unit Delta Plus, how to run a synthesiser off a windmill, and how to kindly ask a computer to make us a beautiful composition.

Timeline
06:15 Working solo
08:43 Sequencing with David Cockerel
12:09 The first Personal Computer
15:46 Working with time and paper-tape
19:26 Tristram Cary and the production of the VCS3 synthesizer
21:52 Synthi
23:24 The Listening Room
25:43 “Partita for unaccompanied computer”, January 1968
30:19 Max Mathews and electronic music in Academia
32:51 "I don’t like synthesizers": the downfall of EMS
35:00 Alan Sutcliffe and the Computer Arts Society
36:21 Correcting subroutines
38:30 Peter Grogono and the studio as a music system
39:50 Brian, Delia and Peter: Unit Delta Plus
43:32 Overwritten tapes: the best is yet to come
44:31 "Chronometer" with Harrison Birtwistle
46:04 "Tristan" with Hans Werner Henze
47:37 Studio documentation: a fossil

Playlist
01 Peter Zinovieff, “January tensions”, 1968 (4:45)
02 Peter Zinovieff, “Tarantella”, 1966 (3:46)
03 Peter Zinovieff and Alan Sutcliffe, “March probabilistic”, 1968 (4:19)
04 Peter Zinovieff “Lollipop for Papa”, 1968 (6:25)
05 Peter Zinovieff and Alan Sutcliffe, “ZASP”, 1968 (5:10)
06 Peter Zinovieff and Harrison Birtwistle, “Chronometer”, 1971 (24:16)
07 Peter Zinovieff and Hans Werner Henze, “Tristan (long section)”, 1973 (7:39)
08 Peter Zinovieff, “Now’s the time to say goodbye”, 1978 (4:11)

E/N/J/O/Y!!!!





====
Paul Brown
http://www.paul-brown.com == http://www.brown-and-son.com
UK Mobile +44 (0)794 104 8228
Skype paul-g-brown
====
Honorary Visiting Professor - Sussex University
http://www.cogs.susx.ac.uk/ccnr/research/creativity.html
====


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End of CAS Digest - 29 Apr 2019 to 30 Apr 2019 (#2019-61)
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