EMS Proceedings and Other Publications

Some aspects of research on the San Francisco Tape Music Center and the contribution of Donald Buchla

Marc Battier

For several years, I have been gathering materials on the contacts between the young Donald Buchla and the Tape Music Center. This center was established in San Francisco in 1962 by Pauline Oliveros, Ramon Sender and Morton Subtonick, thereby becoming the first electroacoustic studio on the US west coast. However, its very individual musical approach led it to seek different methods for linking traditional and electroacoustic instruments. The contribution of Donald Buchla was critical to this process. He developed an electronic instrument that was a modular device that met the expectations of the Center because it allowed an electroacoustic part to be written and performed without requiring the use of magnetic tape as a medium. This presentation will focus on several key points in the development of the Centre and the role of Buchla.