To celebrate its 5th year and 20th release, cassette label Ultraviolet Light has cooked up something truly special: Buchla Now, a collection of new music created on synthesizers designed by Don Buchla, the visionary instrument maker, inventor/physicist, circuit designer, musician, and founder of what has popularly become known as the “West Coast Style” of synthesis.
Buchla Now features music from Marcia Bassett, Suzanne Ciani, Dan Deacon, Jonathan Fitoussi, Steve Horelick, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Hans Tammen, and compilation curator Todd Barton. Suzanne Ciani once said of Don Buchla that his “unique mindset allowed him to be outside the popular notion of what electronic music was.” Each of these artists, in their own way, carries on this tradition of boundary-pushing music, expanding the very notion of what music can be.
Buchla Now is being released as a 300-copy limited edition cassette with 3-color risograph printed artwork by Wilson Ward Kemp as well as digital-download codes included with each cassette.
Get the limited-edition album here.
Todd Barton is a composer, sound designer, multimedia performer, and analog synthesist specializing in Buchla Electronic Musical Instruments.
Marcia Bassett is an artist/musician working in areas of sound, improvisation and visual creations. Her sound pieces use handmade electronic instruments, prepared guitar, synthesizer, field recordings and tape explorations.
Suzanne Ciani is a composer, recording artist, and pioneer in the field of electronic music and sound design.
Dan Deacon is a Baltimore-based musician and composer renowned for his five electronic-pop albums, his high-energy live shows, and his body of work as film composer.
Jonathan Fitoussi is a French composer residing in Paris. He works on minimalist and contemporary musical forms.
Steve Horelick is an experimental electronic musician, composer and musical adventurer who performs live electronic SurroundScapeTMconcerts in the U.S., Canada and Europe.
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith is an American composer, performer and producer, originally from Orcas Island and currently based in Los Angeles.
Hans Tammen likes to set sounds in motion, and then sit back to watch the movements unfold. His music is continuously shifting, using textures, timbre and dynamics as primary elements.
Statement from Buchla Now curator and contributing musician Todd Barton:
I’ve been mesmerized and seduced by the organic sound and responsive interface of the Buchla Music Easel for decades. It is an instrument I never tire of playing, practicing, and performing with.
This project began as an idea from Jimmy Joe Roche. I was delighted that he reached out to me to contact composer/performer friends that were deep diving into Buchla instruments. As the inquiries began, the first to respond was Suzanne Ciani, which really propelled the forming of this unique constellation of musicians. Though I know most of the folks other names were suggested and that opened up into the lineup we have here. My guiding stars in curating Buchla
Now were diversity of gender, imagination, and approach to the Buchla environment. The only guidelines after that was that each offering needed to be between 5-6 minutes. Full stop. The creative content/composition was totally up to each person. Thus, curating this diversity of content became a wonderful and exciting journey into the overall structure of the album and a sense of “Oh! What comes next!”
Statement from Ultraviolet Light’s Jimmy Joe Roche:
I think the work I’ve released on UVL has a kinship with the sonic richness and experimentation that I associate with instruments designed by Don Buchla. The Buchla sound and the thought process that people bring to the instruments (or perhaps that the instruments bring to them) is undeniably unique and should be celebrated and preserved. When I wrote the mission statement for UVL I included this line: UVL is “ dedicated to releasing work by artists who push sonic boundaries, emphasize experimentation, conceptualize sound as invisible sculpture and radiate mysterious energies.” Who wouldn't argue that these descriptors could also be used to describe the Buchla Music Easel?
Get the limited-edition album here.