Electronic Music Foundation

Empowering creativity in music and sound through technology

Founded in September 1994, Electronic Music Foundation (EMF) is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization that organizes concerts and festivals, publishes and disseminates information, and provides access to materials relevant to the history and creative potential of electronic music.


Martians by Zia

ZIA is an exclusively electronic band who began performing on the East Cost in 1992. Founded by Elaine Walker, ZIA bangs out pro-space and sci-fi music on futuristic instruments. The notes and samples are triggered ALL LIVE with drum sticks! Microtonal musical scales run rampant throughout the ZIA repertoire. In the pop genre this is a monumental task which adds an eerie, futuristic edge to the songs.” (source)

ZIA is by far my favorite pro-space electronic band. They just released their new album Martians. Ordered mine last week. If you’re curious as to what ZIA sounds like, check out their myspace.

Discovering Electronic Music

This is an educational film from 1983 describing a little bit of the history and tools of electronic music. The best thing about it is that it is behind the times for 1983, and seems more like a 1970s film. Frequently featured is a Moog modular! Also featured is a Fairlight, but as an analog obsessive, I’m less interested in that.

This reminds me of the old Encyclopedia Britannica films we watched back in high school. Despite being quite vintage, the content of the film is still relevant today.

Build Your Own Alien Instruments

Build Your Own Alien Instruments

“We send probes into deep space to listen to alien worlds. But alien world’s aren’t always that far away.” – Reed Ghazala

I recently finished reading Circuit-Bending: Build Your Own Alien Instruments. This is probably the easiest, and quickest way to get you up to speed in the field of Circuit-Bending. Reed Ghazala, the internationally recognized “Father of Circuit-Bending,” provides a concise compendium of most issues that will arise during your alien spelunking adventures.

Is this book for you?

Depends. For myself, the book was absolutely worth it. My background is mostly digital. The text introduced me to very rudimentary skills required to build these instruments. Skills such as: soldering, quasi-electronics, drilling, painting, etc… If you can already do these things, even on a basic level, you might not get much from these chapters.

Where this book truly excels is Ghazala’s personal insight and experience. His writing is candid, humorous at times, and allows the reader to get a glimpse of how his thought process works. In many ways, this book is more than just a DIY guide. It is also about composing through the process of electronic experimentation.

In other words, good stuff.

Part of Get Bent.

James Tenney Remembered 1934-2006

I just learned this morning that my CalArts Professor, James Tenney, passed away in August of this year.

I remember the first day of class with him. James mentioned that when people asked what kind of music he wrote, he would sometimes respond with, “I write unpopular music.” I have since used that line many times myself.

One of my favorite works of his is For Ann (rising), a process music composition featuring an endless rising glissando. This glissando is similar to Jean-Claude Risset’s. In my opinion, Tenney’s is more musically interesting, and the illusion of the glissando is much more transparent.

James is also one of the performers in Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Kontakte, which is featured on Ohm: The Early Gurus of Electronic Music.

James, you will be missed.

‘Electronica’ – Live at FACT (excerpt)

I only wish they had posted the entire performance. From the description:

This is a taster of our live performance mix of ‘Electronica’, a piece which uses clips from a 1940’s russian film ‘Experiments in the Revival of Organisms’ which can be found on www.archive.org. Music by Kinetic Fallacy (Hannah Peel and Emma Welsby). Video chopped, treated and performed by Smeech.

Permalink @ blip.tv

Know Your Roots: OHM+


:the early gurus of electronic music

“Electronic music represents freedom from conventional music forms: it liberates the production of sound. I was very interested in electronic music from its philosophical point of view. It is music that takes chances: it’s adventurous, it doesn’t sit still. And that’s something that should be applied to culture at large.” – Iara Lee

Ohm: The Early Gurus of Electronic Music is a sensational sonic history, grounded in mold-breaking experimentation. With virtually no rules to follow, or previous works to emulate, these composers were given a new freedom unlike anything else before. Naysayers would call this compilation a lot of things, but not music. For the open minded, this three disc +dvd set is an opportunity for exploring a world of sound you may have not experienced before.