Don Buchla - Electronic Music Pioneer
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Don Buchla is widely regarded as one of the foremost pioneers in electronic musical instrument design. His reputation as a true innovator of synthesizers and unique performance controllers is honored and revered by fellow engineers, musicians, artists, composers, and academia. Buchla received a degree in physics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1960 and has been advancing the state-of-the-art in electronic instrument design since he constructed his first synthesizer in 1963.
Buchla has served as technical director of the California Institute of the Arts, technical director of the Electric Symphony, and co-director of the Artists' Research Collective. Don has received grants from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, and was honored with the prestigious SEAMUS Lifetime Achievement Award.
Buchla has taken his electronic instrument design approach far beyond sound generation into the world of unique performance controllers, preferring to make instruments with the intent of creating new sounds. Thunder, a tactile, infinitely-programmable control surface, and Lightning, a gesture controller that generates performance data based on the user's spatial movements, are but two of his incredibly advanced, mold-breaking and mind-boggling designs. Don's inventions are in widespread use by film composers, performance artists, jazz musicians, pop and rock musicians, and improvisational ensembles an array of creative individuals looking for advanced, expressive, inspiring instruments.