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Thu June 23, 2022

Morton Subotnick – As I Live & Breathe

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As I Live and Breathe combines analog recordings, electronic patches, and live performance on a hybrid Buchla 200e/Ableton "instrument" with live video animation. The work opens with the sounds of Subotnick himself breathing into a microphone: a single inhale, followed by silence, followed by an exhale. There is silence and darkness between each breath gesture, and both sound & image develop in long phrases, simply at first and gradually transforming. Morton Subotnick states, "'As I Live & Breathe' features live and sampled vocalizing along with some of my most advanced electronic performance techniques. At last, some Buchla modules are now digital plugins and Ableton Live has evolved into a form that will allow me to create a technological environment that I never expected, in my lifetime, to experience. It starts with my breath, moves through a vocalising cadenza of vocal gestures and ends with a tender and simple use of gentle rhythms and melodic fragments."

~~~~~~~~

Morton Subotnick is one of the pioneers in the development of electronic
music and an innovator in works involving instruments and
other media, including interactive computer music systems. The work
which brought Subotnick celebrity was Silver Apples of the
Moon [1966-7], commissioned by Nonesuch Records, marking the
first time an original large-scale composition had been created
specifically for the disc medium - a conscious acknowledgment that
the home stereo system constituted a present-day form of chamber
music. It has become a modern classic and was recently entered into
the National Register of Recorded Works at the Library of Congress.
Only 300 recordings throughout the entire history of recorded music
have been chosen.

In the early 60s, Subotnick taught at Mills College and with Ramon
Sender, co-founded the San Francisco Tape Music Center. During
this period he collaborated with Anna Halprin in two works (the 3
legged stool and Parades and Changes) and was music director of
the Actors Workshop. It was also during this period that Subotnick
worked with Don Buchla on what may have been the first analog
synthesizer (now at the Library of Congress).

In 1966 Subotnick was instrumental in getting a Rockefeller Grant to
join the Tape Center with the Mills Chamber Players (at Mills College
with performers Nate Rubin, violin; Bonnie Hampton, cello; Naomi
Sparrow, piano and Subotnick, clarinet). The grant required that the
Tape Center relocate to a host institution that became Mills College.
Subotnick, however, did not stay with the move, but went to NY with
the Actor's Workshop to become the first music director of the Lincoln
Center Rep Company in the Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln
Center. He became an artist in residence at the newly formed Tisch
School of the Arts at NYU. The School of the Arts provided him with a
studio and a Buchla Synthesizer. During this period he helped
develop and became artistic director of the Electric Circus and the
Electric Ear. This was also the time of the creation of Silver Apples of
the Moon, The Wild Bull and Touch.

In 1969 Subotnick was invited to be part of a team of artists to move
to Los Angeles to plan a new school of the arts. With Mel Powell as
Dean, and Subotnick as Associate Dean, and a team of four other
pairs of artists, he carved out a new path of music education and
created the now famous California Institute of the Arts. Subotnick
remained Associate Dean of the music school for four years and
then, resigning as Associate Dean, became the head of the
composition program where, a few years later, he created a new
media program that introduced interactive technology and multi
media into the curriculum.

Subotnick is now pioneering works to offer musical creative tools to
young children. He is the author of a series of CD-‐RoMs for children,
a children's website [www.creatingmusic.com], and is developing a
program for classroom and after school programs that will soon
become available internationally.

Among Subotnick's awards are a Guggenheim Fellowship,
Rockefeller Grants (3), Meet the Composer (2), American Academy
of Arts and Letters Composer Award, Brandies Award, Deutcher
Akademisher Austauschdienst Kunsterprogramm (DAAD), Composer
in Residence in Berlin, Lifetime Achievement Award (SEAMUS at
Dartmouth), ASCAP: John Cage Award, ACO: Lifetime Achievement,
Honorary Doctorate from the California Institute of the Arts.

Morton Subotnick tours extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe
as a lecturer and composer/performer.
As I Live and Breathe combines analog recordings, electronic patches, and live performance on a hybrid Buchla 200e/Ableton "instrument" with live video animation. The work opens with the sounds of Subotnick himself breathing into a microphone: a single inhale, followed by silence, followed by an exhale. There is silence and darkness between each breath gesture, and both sound & image develop in long phrases, simply at first and gradually transforming. Morton Subotnick states, "'As I Live & Breathe' features live and sampled vocalizing along with some of my most advanced electronic performance techniques. At last, some Buchla modules are now digital plugins and Ableton Live has evolved into a form that will allow me to create a technological environment that I never expected, in my lifetime, to experience. It starts with my breath, moves through a vocalising cadenza of vocal gestures and ends with a tender and simple use of gentle rhythms and melodic fragments."

~~~~~~~~

Morton Subotnick is one of the pioneers in the development of electronic
music and an innovator in works involving instruments and
other media, including interactive computer music systems. The work
which brought Subotnick celebrity was Silver Apples of the
Moon [1966-7], commissioned by Nonesuch Records, marking the
first time an original large-scale composition had been created
specifically for the disc medium - a conscious acknowledgment that
the home stereo system constituted a present-day form of chamber
music. It has become a modern classic and was recently entered into
the National Register of Recorded Works at the Library of Congress.
Only 300 recordings throughout the entire history of recorded music
have been chosen.

In the early 60s, Subotnick taught at Mills College and with Ramon
Sender, co-founded the San Francisco Tape Music Center. During
this period he collaborated with Anna Halprin in two works (the 3
legged stool and Parades and Changes) and was music director of
the Actors Workshop. It was also during this period that Subotnick
worked with Don Buchla on what may have been the first analog
synthesizer (now at the Library of Congress).

In 1966 Subotnick was instrumental in getting a Rockefeller Grant to
join the Tape Center with the Mills Chamber Players (at Mills College
with performers Nate Rubin, violin; Bonnie Hampton, cello; Naomi
Sparrow, piano and Subotnick, clarinet). The grant required that the
Tape Center relocate to a host institution that became Mills College.
Subotnick, however, did not stay with the move, but went to NY with
the Actor's Workshop to become the first music director of the Lincoln
Center Rep Company in the Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln
Center. He became an artist in residence at the newly formed Tisch
School of the Arts at NYU. The School of the Arts provided him with a
studio and a Buchla Synthesizer. During this period he helped
develop and became artistic director of the Electric Circus and the
Electric Ear. This was also the time of the creation of Silver Apples of
the Moon, The Wild Bull and Touch.

In 1969 Subotnick was invited to be part of a team of artists to move
to Los Angeles to plan a new school of the arts. With Mel Powell as
Dean, and Subotnick as Associate Dean, and a team of four other
pairs of artists, he carved out a new path of music education and
created the now famous California Institute of the Arts. Subotnick
remained Associate Dean of the music school for four years and
then, resigning as Associate Dean, became the head of the
composition program where, a few years later, he created a new
media program that introduced interactive technology and multi
media into the curriculum.

Subotnick is now pioneering works to offer musical creative tools to
young children. He is the author of a series of CD-‐RoMs for children,
a children's website [www.creatingmusic.com], and is developing a
program for classroom and after school programs that will soon
become available internationally.

Among Subotnick's awards are a Guggenheim Fellowship,
Rockefeller Grants (3), Meet the Composer (2), American Academy
of Arts and Letters Composer Award, Brandies Award, Deutcher
Akademisher Austauschdienst Kunsterprogramm (DAAD), Composer
in Residence in Berlin, Lifetime Achievement Award (SEAMUS at
Dartmouth), ASCAP: John Cage Award, ACO: Lifetime Achievement,
Honorary Doctorate from the California Institute of the Arts.

Morton Subotnick tours extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe
as a lecturer and composer/performer.
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Gray Area / Grand Theater 6 Upcoming Events
2665 Mission Street , San Francisco, CA 94103

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