Chronicle

Magical Sound Machines
December 15, 2011

On December 15 Elisabeth Schimana gave a presentation on the Max Brand synthesizer. The presentation, sponsored by the Center for Urban History, was held at the premises of the Mykola Lysenko National Music Academy. The Max Brand Synthesizer developed by the ingenious inventor Bob Moog for the visionary composer Max Brand in the late 1950s. Elisabeth Schimana also talked about other sound producing machines from the early days of electro-acoustic music.

Max Brand was born 1896 in Lviv, but moved to Vienna with his parents in 1907. 1938 he had to flee from the nazis, first to Paris and 1940 he emigrated to the US. Frustrated with the difficulty of obtaining performances of his music, Brand took an interest in electronic sound production and set up his private electronic studio in New York. In more than ten years - the first circuit diagram by Bob Moog for this machine is dated in 1957 – Max Brand and the young engineer Bob Moog are developing a unic machine, the Max Brand Synthesizer. This machine unites technolgies from the 40s, like the trautonium and the 60s, when Moog’s voltage controled synthesizers became state of the art.

These and many more sound machines were explored and reinvented by artists during the exhibition "Magical Sound Machines" (http://klangmaschinen.ima.or.at) organised and curated by IMA Institute of Media Archaeology (http://ima.or.at) in co-operation with the Vienna Museum of Technology in September 2008 to April 2009.

Elisabeth Schimana (http://elise.at) is a composer, performer and radio artist. She studied electroacoustic music, musicology and ethnology and is a founder of IMA Institute of Media Archaeology.

Supported by Kulturforum Kiev, OEK, IMA Institute of Mediea Archeology, Max Brand Archive