Audio School: Introducing The Synthesizer

Bach Transmogrified | Leonard Bernstein (1969) Bach Transmogrified | Leonard Bernstein (1969)

Watch Leonard Bernstein, Wendy Carlos and Suzanne Ciani blow viewers’ minds.

During this 1968 installment of his popular Young People’s Concerts televised series, in which classical music was made accessible to young audiences, Leonard Bernstein warmly introduces the new and clearly alien Moog synthesizer to play a fugue in ‘Bach Transmogrified’. (For context: Bernstein references HAL from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, which had been released only a year prior.)

Transgender synth pioneer Wendy Carlos, perhaps most famous for creating the soundtrack to Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange, is seen here “playing the role of the conductor” with “her controversial versions of the classics, created entirely electronically”, in her futuristic studio (via BBC Two):

Here’s fellow pioneer Suzanne Ciani introducing synthesis in her own captivating way in 1980:

Bonus, because how could you not want to watch as Suzanne Ciani Creates The Soundtrack For A Pinball Machine?