Ever since purchasing the original release of Silver Apples Of The Moon, the 1969 album by Morton Subotnick, and Early Fall by Fall Mountain in 1979, I have wanted to be able to ‘play’ electronics.
Subotnick’s album (I love it so much I have both the original and the re-release on vinyl) sounded improvised to me back then. I have subsequently learnt it was not, but was rather put together over a long period and ‘composed’.
On the other hand Bob Ostertag, in Fall Mountain, was playing and improvising on his Serge synth. Not an easy task on a system you had to patch. He also appeared, to my delight, on albums by Eugene Chadbourne and John Zorn in the early 80’s. Just in time for Lol Coxhill, Roger Turner and myself to organise The Recedents in 1982.
I wanted to be able to:
emulate the synth sound, and playing, of both Subotnick and Ostertag, but using guitar and effects pedals. I actually recorded bits of Silver Apples onto a cassette and used it to make samples into my Casio SK1, the cheapest polyphonic sampler there was in the early 80s.
I have never got to grips with patching the likes of a VCS, Buchla, Serge, Aalto synths etc. I never found them fast enough for what I wanted to do especially reacting to other musicians with them while improvising. Bob did, glory be to him, and recently he has found a way of using a gamepad controller to do this too.
Now there are apps to do what I was looking for and these pieces were all recorded direct to stereo using one on my iPhones, and recorded into my Zoom H2 while sat on a swing seat on my rooftop
terrace while the sun went down in November 2022.