Todd Barton

music, composition, buchla synthesis

Buchla Blog

0 — Welcome To My Blog!

Welcome to this space which will unfold into my musings, explorations, demos, tricks and tips for the Buchla 200e system and the Buchla Music Easel. Beginning in early February I’ll start posting entries in conjunction with reviving my periodic Buchla Breaks videos. Meanwhile, here is a little attenuation tip from my archives: And for those […]

1 — Buchla Blog: Musings

Buchla Blog: Musings Welcome! This modest blog will be a free-ranging meandering through my constant musings on all thoughts Buchla. I’m going to try and keep the posts brief (wish me luck) and separate them into: – Conceptual Musings – Buchla Breaks – Easel Expeditions Both the Breaks and Expeditions will focus on specific tips […]

2 — Buchla Architecture

Buchla Architecture Welcome to my second post.  I’ll be expanding on concepts from my first post so you may want to take a moment and check it out.  Be sure to download the video. One architectural difference between a Buchla module and all other synthesizer formats is that the Buchla Paradigm separates Audio Signals (carried […]

4 — Spectrum: Do The Opposite

Welcome to my fourth post.  I am slowly unfolding concepts based on my previous posts so you might what to take a moment and check them out. When I first met Alex at BEMI (Buchla Electronic Musical Instruments) we would spend a lot of time exploring patching philosophy.  One comment I made that has stayed […]

5 — Dynamics

With this fifth post I continue to build on the knowledge and examples of my past posts, you might check them out for background material. Musical/Sonic dynamics embrace the range of audio volume (amplitude) from imperceptibly soft to excruciatingly loud.  Like control voltages, you are only as expressive as your dynamic range. What is the […]

6 — Gestures: Sculpting Energy

Let’s briefly recap the past few Buchla Blog entries: Buchla Architecture: there are two main types of modules in the system: Sound Producing (oscillators and preamps to bring sound into the system from the outside) – these signals are carried by tinijax audio cables. Sound Modifying (cv processors and function generators) – these voltages are […]

7 — Easel Expedition ii-modulation modes

If you recall, Easel Expedition i — Varied Articulations was tucked into the end of my blog entry 2 — Buchla Architecture.  This time out I’m bringing my Easel Expedition to my main blog entry.  Let’s get started. . . Today I’d like to explore simple uses of the Easel’s Program Card that can be […]

8 — Don Buchla: Musical Genius

                                       Don Buchla: Musical Genius    1937-2016 “Our goal was to create an instrument for performance. One with a vocabulary that was varied, accessible, and not presumptive. We weren’t particularly interestedin imitating any extant instruments, either functionally or acoustically. We did want the potential for expressive, real-time performer-instrument interaction.”  Don Buchla, Easel […]

RIP: Don Buchla 1937-2016

For me, Don Buchla fundamentally and universally changed the way we hear and listen to electronic music. His genius lives on in his instrument designs, endless . . . Here is the recent NY Times article And here the NAMM oral history site

9 – 296e Spectral Processor tutorial-1

  With this post I’m resuming my Buchla Blog after a multi-month haitus. Rather than narrative blogs I’ll be offering an ongoing series of video tutorials on the basic functions of the Buchla 296e Spectral Processor.  If this module interests you, be sure to subscribe to my rss feed to get update notifications.  Enjoy!

Allen Strange’s Buchla Easel Manual: a video digest

I’ve always been fascinated and drawn to Allen Strange’s 1974 user’s manual for the Buchla Music Easel.  It is a delightful, thorough and compelling look at the capabilities of this performance instrument. Over the past few weeks I have methodically gone through the manual in a series of videos  as I discover Allen’s approach and […]

Tour Dates: Rome, Berlin, Vienna 2017

I’m pleased to announce a series of talks and performances over the next few months both here in the US and in Europe! Rome, Italy    September 28-30. 2-day workshop featuring Buchla electronic instruments, followed by a concert with my friend Federico Placidi.  Details Here. Berlin, Germany    October 2. An evening of Serge Modular systems talk, […]

September Performances 2018

    Tone Blur Concert at the DanceSpace, Saturday, September 8, 7:30pm Todd Barton and Bruce Bayard will be performing to a video of abstract figures that Bruce filmed at the SFMOMA during the Rauschenberg exhibit there. They will be joined by Kay Hilton for a special appearance, adding voice to the electronic soundscape.  Tickets […]