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Morton Subotnick on funding the Buchla
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Buchla, EMS & Serge  
Author Morton Subotnick on funding the Buchla
sempervirent


Video from 1998 (which resurfaced on Synthtopia recently) with Subotnick talking about the challenges of getting the initial funding for what turned into the Buchla 100.

For the guy writing the checks it was probably just another day at the office – "OK Mort, here's $500, go for it" – but incidentally this changed the course of music for all time.
dubonaire
sempervirent wrote:


Video from 1998 (which resurfaced on Synthtopia recently) with Subotnick talking about the challenges of getting the initial funding for what turned into the Buchla 100.

For the guy writing the checks it was probably just another day at the office – "OK Mort, here's $500, go for it" – but incidentally this changed the course of music for all time.


I'm going to sound negative here but I like the "it was all me" tone of this less than I like the wallpaper and the chair, and I really dislike the wallpaper and the chair.
vanadl138
dubonaire wrote:
sempervirent wrote:


Video from 1998 (which resurfaced on Synthtopia recently) with Subotnick talking about the challenges of getting the initial funding for what turned into the Buchla 100.

For the guy writing the checks it was probably just another day at the office – "OK Mort, here's $500, go for it" – but incidentally this changed the course of music for all time.


I'm going to sound negative here but I like the "it was all me" tone of this less than I like the wallpaper and the chair, and I really dislike the wallpaper and the chair.


I get it, but I also get that most artists need an ego to survive. Otherwise they would continue to make music in their basement and never release it to the public to enjoy.
dubonaire
vanadl138 wrote:


I get it, but I also get that most artists need an ego to survive. Otherwise they would continue to make music in their basement and never release it to the public to enjoy.


Good point.
legionhwp
That does sound negative. I took away something very different. He wasn’t humble bragging that people knew him, they did. He also pointed out he wasn’t famous, he simply was known in the small academic circle the people who hand out the grants live in. That how he was able to even talk to them.

And he also pointed out the small pond he and the SF gang were building wasn’t even on the radar of the money folk. They refused to fund *another* electronic music studio because they flat out said no one really thought it was in demand and the music (that subotnik , etc) were doing wasn’t worth it. Hardly seems like he’s patting himself on the back here.

So he tried a few times and states it was only when they got Don Buchla on board that we was successful in getting a measly $500. He’s even laughing at the ridiculousness of it all.

I’d dunno, to me he does sound like a great guy who made a difference by working hard to help the tape center and those who believed in this stuff. I guess you could say he was cocky for not jumping on the Moog/keyboard wagon of electronic music and insisting on going in a different direction but I’m guessing most members on this Buchla forum see that as a pretty big positive too Guinness ftw!



dubonaire wrote:

I'm going to sound negative here but I like the "it was all me" tone of this less than I like the wallpaper and the chair, and I really dislike the wallpaper and the chair.
dubonaire
I'll have to accept I was being grumpy. Still don't like the wallpaper though woah
sempervirent
IMO the interesting thing is the sense that the fabled $500 grant almost didn't materialize. Maybe other funding sources would have been pursued, just interesting to consider as a "what if" scenario.

Seems like Waveshaper Media's "Subotnick" documentary is on the back burner for now as they finish up their Moog doc, but the latest update on the long-awaited Clarity Films doc is that it's in the final stages of editing. Hopefully we'll be seeing more historical anecdotes like this coming out.
dubonaire
sempervirent wrote:
IMO the interesting thing is the sense that the fabled $500 grant almost didn't materialize. Maybe other funding sources would have been pursued, just interesting to consider as a "what if" scenario.


Yeah that's true. Imagine how many million times that plays out all over the world every day, and cascades and branches out to infinity, from a woman applying for a micro loan in Bangladesh to a research grant applicant in Australia to a company trying to avoid insolvency in Denmark, or swiping left or right, ad infinitum.

sempervirent
Exactly. That's what I was getting at. The mythos presumes that the invention of the Buchla (or any other instrument) was a fait accompli but that's only because we are downstream from a certain version of history.

Great diagram too. Even without knowing exactly what phenomenon it represents the pattern is clear and as you say this pattern plays out in myriad ways every day.

Not to get too far off the topic but there's a concept called constructal theory or constructal law (most heavily researched by Adrian Bejan) that goes into this idea from a mathematical perspective. It maps out flows (of virtually any type: water, electricity, capital, people, ideas) as branching structures that tend towards greater efficiency over time. This approach makes it all seem a bit less mysterious but no less fascinating.
dubonaire
sempervirent wrote:
Exactly. That's what I was getting at. The mythos presumes that the invention of the Buchla (or any other instrument) was a fait accompli but that's only because we are downstream from a certain version of history.

Great diagram too. Even without knowing exactly what phenomenon it represents the pattern is clear and as you say this pattern plays out in myriad ways every day.

Not to get too far off the topic but there's a concept called constructal theory or constructal law (most heavily researched by Adrian Bejan) that goes into this idea from a mathematical perspective. It maps out flows (of virtually any type: water, electricity, capital, people, ideas) as branching structures that tend towards greater efficiency over time. This approach makes it all seem a bit less mysterious but no less fascinating.


Interesting you mention that because the image is a bifurcation fractal and constructal theory is said to replace the belief that nature is fractal.
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