Synopses & Reviews
Though ubiquitous today, available as a single microchip and found in any electronic device requiring sound, the synthesizer when it first appeared was truly revolutionary. Something radically new an extraordinary rarity in musical culture it was an instrument that used a genuinely new source of sound: electronics. How this came to be how an engineering student at Cornell and an avant-garde musician working out of a storefront in California set this revolution in motion is the story told for the first time in Analog Days, a book that explores the invention of the synthesizer and its impact on popular culture.
The authors take us back to the heady days of the 1960s and early 1970s, when the technology was analog, the synthesizer was an experimental instrument, and synthesizer concerts could and did turn into happenings. Interviews with the pioneers who determined what the synthesizer would be and how it would be used from inventors Robert Moog and Don Buchla to musicians like Brian Eno, Pete Townshend, and Keith Emerson recapture their visions of the future of electronic music and a new world of sound.
Tracing the development of the Moog synthesizer from its initial conception to its ascension to stardom in Switched-On Bach, from its contribution to the San Francisco psychedelic sound, to its wholesale adoption by the worlds of film and advertising, Analog Days conveys the excitement, uncertainties, and unexpected consequences of a new technology that would provide the soundtrack for a critical chapter of our cultural history.
"This book takes the reader on a mind-expanding trip a fascinating adventure starting from our concept of the first Moog synthesizer as a powerful tool for the avant-garde composer through its emergence into the mainstream of a dynamic and ubiquitous popular culture that changed our society and impacted our lives. It is a unique exploration of the holistic inter-relationship of science, art, invention, and the cosmos." Herbert A. Deutsch, collaborator, first Moog design, 1964; first live performance of Moog, Town Hall, New York City, September 1965 (NY Improvisation Quartet); leader, Moog Jazz Quartet, MoMA "Jazz in the Garden, August 1969
"An impressive work dealing with one of the most important innovations in music in recent years. There is no doubt that Robert Moog was the creator of a new range of instruments adding to the palette of tone colors that had largely been unchanged since the time of Mozart." Sir George Martin, C.B.E.
"This engagingly written book reads almost like a thriller. Trevor Pinch and Frank Trocco's Analog Days is an immensely valuable contribution to the small literature of histories of musical instruments and music and technology more generally." Timothy D. Taylor, Columbia University, author of Strange Sounds: Music, Technology and Culture
About the Author
Trevor Pinch is Professor and Chairperson of Science and Technology Studies, Cornell University.Frank Trocco is Assistant Professor of Adult Baccalaureate Studies, Lesley University.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Robert Moog
Introduction: Sculpting Sound
1. Subterranean Homesick Blues
2. Buchla's Box
3. Shaping the Synthesizer
4. The Funky Factory in Trumansburg
5. Haight-Asbury's Psychedelic Sound
6. An Odd Couple in the Summer of Love
7. Switched-On Bach
8. In Love with a Machine
9. Music of My Mind
11. Hard-Wired-the Minimoog
12. Inventing the Market
13. Close Encounters with the ARP
14. From Daleks to the Dark Side of the Moon