March 16th (friday)
INVENTING THE MACHINE-MAN — A MULTI-MEDIA RAYMOND SCOTT EXPLORATION with Jeff E. Winner
Curated by Thomas Patteson.
Bowerbird Presents GATE
@ The Rotunda
4014 Walnut Street
ABOUT THE EVENT
To commemorate the 75th Anniversary of Raymond Scott's music, Jeff E. Winner of the Scott archives presents the life of the late composer and inventor with rare audio and video. This evening will include a 60 minute presentation by Winner and a complete screening (100 minutes) of the documentary, “DECONSTRUCTING DAD: The Music, Machines and Mystery of Raymond Scott.” The award-winning film features interviews with movie music composer John Williams ("Star Wars"), Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo, and DJ Spooky aka Paul D. Miller, as well as Raymond Scott's family, colleagues, and archival footage of Scott himself.
Raymond Scott (1908-1994) assembled a 6-piece band, including Johnny Williams, father of famous movie score composer John Williams, in 1936. Scott's music is familiar to millions because is was adapted into classic Warner Bros. "Looney Tunes" cartoons, and more recently in "Ren & Stimpy," and "The Simpsons." In the 1940s, Scott formed the first racially-integrated radio group, and founded Manhattan Research, Inc. where he invented and patented early multi-track tape recorders, synthesizers, sequencers, and drum machines. He collaborated with future Moog synthesizer inventor Bob Moog on hardware designs. The recordings Scott produced with his inventions ranged from experimental art pieces, and a 3-volume series of minimal, proto-ambient LPs (on Epic Records), to industrial and commercial projects for Ford, Coca-Cola, and IBM. In the mid-1960s Scott created electronic soundtracks for short films by Muppets creator Jim Henson. His final career began in 1969 at age 60 when Berry Gordy Of Motown purchased an automatic electronic composing machine that Scott had invented, called "The Electronium." Scott was subsequently hired to be Motown's director of electronic R&D in LA, and held the position until 1977.
Jeff E. Winner is a music producer, historian, and researcher specializing in early electronica. He has written for the Oxford University Press "Grove Dictionary Of American Music," the MIT Press anthology "Sound Unbound" with Chuck D of Public Enemy, Moby, Scanner, and Steve Reich, features in "Electronic Musician" magazine, and liner notes for the DVD/CD series "OHM: The Early Gurus Of Electronic Music" with Sonic Youth, Bob Moog, John Cage, and Brian Eno. Mr. Winner was also editor and interviewer for "WE ARE DEVO," the band's only biographical book (Firefly Press)
The Rotunda is a West Philadelphia community-gathering place that is fueled by the belief that art is a catalyst for social change and that the arts can lead to the formation of meaningful partnerships between the University of Pennsylvania and surrounding neighborhoods. Over 300 events are offered every year, including live music, film, spoken word, theater, art, dance, education, youth programs, arts incubation, and various experimental genres. As an alcohol-free, smoke-free venue, The Rotunda provides a critical social alternative for all ages. At its core, The Rotunda is a shared space fostering learning, enrichment, and community support while empowering the public to present, produce, and promote their work.