Since 2012, Synth Nights is The Kitchen’s ongoing intergenerational concert series bringing together composers of different eras and genres within the form of electronic music. Past installments in the series featured such legendary figures as the seminal electro-acoustic ensemble Musica Elettronica Viva and the pioneering composer David Behrman as well as emerging talents, including Laurel Halo, Oneohtrix Point Never, Sergei Tcherepnin, and Ben Vida. On March 4, 2015, Synth Nights marks the return of Morton Subotnick, legendary American composer known for his pioneering work with interactive electronics and multimedia, to The Kitchen with a special concert created by transforming prepared samples from previous work while performing brand new sound gestures into a new and ongoing palette.
Subotnick has had a long history with The Kitchen beginning in the late 1970s when he performed Ghost Music, compositions where the electronic processing and amplification of live sounds were determined by a pre-programmed tape. He returned to The Kitchen in 1993 with his multimedia opera Jacob’s Room, collaborating with video artists Steina and Woody Vasulka, movement director John Alleyne, software designer Mark Coniglio, lighting designer Jason Richardson, and costume/set designer Victoria Petrovich. In the 1990s when Subotnick was the director of the Center for Experiments in Art, Information and Technology at the California Institute of Arts he helped organized Electronic Cafe International events that connected The Kitchen in New York with the Electronic Cafe in Santa Monica and Studio X in Santa Fe for interactive performances and talks. At the inaugural concert in 1994, Subotnick performed a piece at the Santa Monica site where sensors connected to his body translated his movements into electronic signals that activated an instrument in New York. Subotnick last performed at The Kitchen in 2001 and presented Gestures: It Begins with Color. Using a computer monitor projected onto the stage, Subotnick created sounds, text, and graphics from the movements of the mouse across the screen. During this engagement Subotnick also demonstrated his interactive computer programming for children including Making Music and Making More Music at a TV Lunch program for families.
Morton Subotnick (b. 1933, Los Angeles) is one of the pioneers in the development of electronic music and an innovator in works involving instruments and other media, including interactive computer music systems. The work that brought Subotnick celebrity was Silver Apples of the Moon (1966-67), commissioned by Nonesuch Records, marking the first time an original large-scale composition had been created specifically for the disc. It has become a modern classic and was recently entered into the National Register of Recorded Works at the Library of Congress. He is also pioneering works offering musical creative tools to young children, including an iPad App, Pitch Painter, a series of CD-ROMs, and an online k-6 curriculum in musical creativity and Ear Training. Morton Subotnick’s Music Academy (http://www.msmusicacademy.com) has just been launched. He tours extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe as a composer/performer and lecturer.