Add a Comment to this Note (list members only)
Dead medium: Scott's Electronium
From: kadrey@well.com (Richard Kadrey)
Source(s): MUSICAL LEGENDS OF AMERICA, by Justin Green (with thanks to Irwin Chusid). Tower Pulse! magazine, p. 26, July 1994

Invented by composer

Raymond Scott

(a sample of whose works are collected on Reckless Nights and Turkish Twilights, and immortalized in countless cartons, most recently Ren & Stimpy) spent the last years of his life working with electronic composing systems that he designed. One of his devices, the

Electronium

, has been described as "one of the first applications of artificial intelligence in music composition." (Justin Green)

Raymond Scott: "A composer (guidance control) asks the Electronium to suggest an idea, theme or motive. He listens to these on a monitor speaker. When happy with one of these ideas, he stops the Electronium and starts recording.

"Faster, slower, a new rhythm design, a hold, a pause, a second theme, variation, extension, elongation, diminution, counterpoint, a change in phrasing, an ornament...ad infinitum...whatever the composer requests, the Electronium accepts and acts out his directions."

The only photo I've seen of the device makes it look like an old analog computer flanked by Bauhausian monitors.

Richard Kadrey kadrey@well.com

The Scott composition Pygmie Taxi Corporation utilized the Electronium.

listen

to a sample in realaudio format (50k).

Other Scott Inventions

THE VIDEOLA

;

THE CLAVIVOX

: Keyboard Theremin;

RHYTHM MODULATOR, THE CIRCLE MACHINE, etc;

1946.htm


Studio.html


Studio2.htm


RAYMOND SCOTT at work in his lab;

Lab.html


workshop.htm