Reconstructing Raymond Scott’s Electronium 

Source: The Wire.

From 1959 until his death in 1994, the focus of his electronic research was a contraption he called the Electronium, intended to be the “perfect sideman”, an “orchestra with a thousand voices”. It was supposed, as Scott said to composer Herb Deutsch, to “take the work out of being a musician.” As Deutsch recalls in a 1993 interview with Irwin Chusid, Scott said, “Look, I just want to sit here, and I’d like to turn this machine on, and whenever it does something good, I want to record it at that point.” Scott’s wife Mitzi spoke of it as if it had a mind of its own. An automatic composing machine, capable of creating an endlessly diverse stream of music with only the most minimal input from its operator, years in advance of today’s deep learning systems and artificial neural networks.

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