Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Music from the films of Lillian Schwartz


There was supposed to be a Lillian Schwartz retrospective at Pop Montreal this week but it looks like it's been canceled. That's too bad. She's such an amazing, inspiring artist. I've really enjoyed perusing her back catalog on Youtube over the past few years (the documentary below offers a great intro to her world). I've also been reading her book The Computer Artist's Handbook, which is quirky and strange in all the ways I was hoping, and even includes a chapter on computer music.



It sounds like Bell Laboratories was something of a Hall of Justice for electronic music geniuses in the 70s. Schwartz regularly commissioned music from her colleagues Max Mathews and F. Richard Moore, as well as from Jean-Claude Risset, Gershon Kingsley, Emmanuel Ghent, Albert Miller, and Joe Olive. Here's a mix I put together of my favorite music from her films. Interestingly, Schwartz used to screen her film Pixillation (1970) with as many as four different soundtracks. The one by Gershon Kingsley is probably the best known, but my favorite is by F. Richard Moore. Here's a picture of him with the GROOVE machine he invented with Max Mathews, and a few others of Lillian.



8 comments:

  1. this might be my favorite blog post ever. thank you!

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  2. This amazing compilation needs a vinyl release asap. Maybe also CD, ok. A DVD, record, book combination would be an option too.

    Talking of various media formats: Too bad about the retrospective, because they were planning to show them in the original 16mm film format as far as I know.

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  3. yes, all of the above! a schwarz LP would be amazing.

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  4. whoops, the last track is cut off. here is the full song of the f. richard moore version of pixillation.

    http://www.mediafire.com/?rhnftsr8bf5x3ci

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  5. Wow, fantastic music. Thanks so much.

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  6. I was so bummed out when I realized that the screening was cancelled... There was even going to be a live chat on Skype with her! Lillian Schwartz is such an inspiration on so many levels. And I love her book too :) thanks for this post!

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  7. yeah, it's too bad about the show. your auroratone project sounds great! sorry to have missed you guys this summer at the parking lot show...

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    1. It would have been really nice to meet you! If you ever have the occasion to come to Montreal let me know!

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