Paul Lansky's Radiohead Adventure

Paul Lansky was one of the first electronic/computer music composers, and he's still a professor at Princeton. Here is his charming account of being sampled by Radiohead. A short loop of his track Mild und Leise [mp3] became the chord sequence for Idioteque. "Mild und Leise was composed in 1973 on an IBM 360/91 mainframe computer. I used the Music360 computer language written by Barry Vercoe. This IBM mainframe was, as far as I know, the only computer on the Princeton University campus at the time. It had about one megabyte of memory, and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars (in addition to requiring a staff to run it around the clock). At that point we were actually using punch cards to communicate with the machine, and writing the output to a 1600 BPI digital tape which we then had to carry over to a lab in the basement of the engineering quadrangle in order to listen to it. It uses FM synthesis, which had just been worked out at Stanford, and also a special purpose filter design program written (in Fortran IV) by Ken Steiglitz. What's especially cute, and also occured to Jonny Greenwood, is that I was about his current age, when I wrote the piece - sort of a musical time warp." Somewhat cooler than hanging about with Radiohead is this short clip of Paul being taught to play the Theremin by... Leon Theremin! (Thanks Martin)


Comments:
i had the pleasure of taking a few classes with Paul while in college. he's an amazing guy, check out his other work at http://music.princeton.edu/~paul
 
awesome! i've been wondering where that sample came from, as i heard it was borrowed from someone.
 
shouldn't plug, but he wrote an extended essay for my book, _The Music and Art of Radiohead_: http://www.pulk-pull.org/book/. I felt honored to work with him.
 
Wow, I just had dinner with Paul Lansky - came home and found this in your blog, cool coincidence :) He`s attending our conference (www.nomute.no) this weekend, and seems like a very nice person, which only adds to his coolness! Great blog by the way!

- Steinarr
(myspace.com/draumekraft)
 
When I found out about the sample a couple of years ago I took the mp3 of the piece and sampled the tones myself and built a reason track of Idioteque rebuilt. It was a very fun experience.
 
muller:

with adr... link up or shut up...
 
another cocky anonymous poster ... well, mueller ... you still have the track kickin it around somewhere?
 
Post a Comment

<< Home
Music Thing on Twitter
    follow MT on Twitter

    Music Thing Hits:
    Music Thing Heroes:
    Music Thing Friends:
    My music gear for sale
    DIY Modular Synth
    Matrix Synth
    Create Digital Music
    Analog Industries
    Boing Boing Gadgets
    London Video Production
    Oddstrument
    Wire to the Ear
    Palm Sounds
    Noise Addicts
    Retro Thing
    Analogue Haven
    Music Thing Massive
    About Music Thing:
    Send tips to Music Thing
    About this site
    Music Thing Massive
    RSS Feeds


    Problem with the ads?
    Please let me know