11 March 2007


Morning Edition, February 7, 2005 · The 1956 sci-fi thriller Forbidden Planet was the first major motion picture to feature an all-electronic film score -- a soundtrack that predated synthesizers and samplers. It was like nothing the audience had seen -- or heard. The composers were two little-known and little-appreciated pioneers in the field of electronic music, Louis and Bebe Barron.

Married in 1947, the Barrons received a tape recorder as a wedding gift. They used it to record friends and parties, and later opened one of the first private sound studios in America. The 1948 book Cybernetics: Or, Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine, by MIT mathematician Norbert Wiener, inspired Louis Barron to build electronic circuits, which he manipulated to generate sounds. Bebe's job was to sort through hours and hours of tape. Together they manipulated the sounds to create an otherworldly auditory experience.

The Barrons' music caught the ear of the avant-garde scene: In the early 1950s, they worked on a year-long project with composer John Cage. They also scored several short experimental films.

But avant-garde didn't pay, and the Barrons decided to cash in by turning to Hollywood. Their score for Forbidden Planet drew critical praise, but a dispute with the American Federation of Musicians prevented them from receiving proper credit for the soundtrack. Their names were also left off the film's Oscar nomination.

Union rules continued to be an obstacle, and technology eventually passed the Barrons by. Though they never scored another film, Louis and Bebe Barron, who divorced in 1970, continued to collaborate until his death in 1989.

Bebe Barron didn't compose for a decade, but in 1999 she was invited to create a new work at the University of California-Santa Barbara, using the latest in sound-generating technology. The work, completed in 2000, is called Mixed

source + soundexcerpts

Thanks to Mark R. from soundasart mailing group for pointing this out.

07 March 2007

wedding concert of 9th march cancelled

No rendez vous
with der tapeman at scherer8
this friday
due to a friendly demand by the landlord.

next show might contain surprises

02 March 2007

9. Mars Scherer8-apes

We go visit onkel Tapeman in Wedding.
and celebrate
la laala la

friday 9th of mars.
if you don't know by now where to find scherer8
you might as well be too late to remember.