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.