Part of our ongoing Cinema Sounds series, Paul Gonter brings us Silver Apples of the Moon, Morton Subotnick’s first full-length album as an electronic composer.
The Artist: electronic music pioneer Morton Subotnick
The Influence: …the 1960s
The Result: the sonic equivalent to early Brakhage
Morton Subotnick was one of the early avant-garde composers to experiment with the combined power of tape loops and the then emergent technology of the synthesizer. He is considered one of the founders of modern electronic music, because Silver Apples was the first electronic album commissioned by a major label and because it introduced sections of regular rhythm – inklings of danceable beats.
Morton’s connection to film is somewhat relational. He went to high school with the monolithic Stan Brakhage over in Denver, where they started a drama club with Larry Jordan and James Tenney – woah! (Check out The Lawrence Jordan Album, a collection of Larry Jordan’s films that Facets released.) Morton went on to produce Steven Subotnick, a child, with a large amount of help from Joan La Barbara. Steven is now an experimental animator, who has held teaching positions at Harvard and MassArt.
Silver Apples of the Moon is available for purchase on Morton Subotnick’s website.