1959 - Cindy Electronium, by Raymond Scott

The Raymond Scott

Raymond Scott started out as a jazz quintet band leader and then got into making music for radio and television ads, and cartoons. While he was making commercial music, he was using the money he earned to create electronic machines for making music. He started a company called Manhattan Research, Inc. to build his ever larger and more elaborate creations. Though he continued to make commercial music, he also made a lot of experimental music as well, and was able to use much of this experimental music in ads and cartoons.

This song was created on the Electronium. The Electronium was an electronic instrument that allowed the composer to not only generate the sounds, but also to sequence them in novel ways. "An 'instantaneous composing machine,' the Electronium generated original music via random sequences of tones, rhythms, and timbres; Scott himself denied it was a prototype synthesizer -- it had no keyboard -- but as one of the first machines to create music by means of artificial intelligence, its importance in pointing the way towards the electonic compositions of the future is undeniable." [source]

I have know about Raymond Scott for a little while now, but I just recently discovered this song. I was immediately stuck by how much it sounded like the electronic music of the 70s, 15-20 years after this song was created. Plus its amazing how he was not only composing new music and building his own electronic instruments, he was also inventing new paradigms for structuring music, for example, the various sequencers he made.


Raymond Scott Tribute Site
Review of a Raymond Scott biography
A Short Raymond Scott Biography

Part of the Non-Linear History of New Media Timeline, an ITP class taught by Michael Naimark.

Assembled by Hans-Christoph Steiner