Don Buchla and Bob Moog lived on opposite sides of the USA, and at more of less the same time in the early 1960’s , they were both designing and building early Voltage Controlled Synthesisers.
Their respective designs took two very different directions, and this lead to two different philosophies, East Coast, and West Coast style synthesis.
I’m currently reading a fascinating book about the early years of West Coast culture that explains how the concept of West Coast Synthesis developed and evolved. The book, which is a curation of Stories, Anecdotes and Essays, features Don Buchla and his early instruments extensively.
The Buchla Music Easel was originally launched in 1973. The Music Easel was designed from the start to be a performance oriented instrument, but an instrument that moved away from conventional music. A quick glance at the unconventional Buchla 218 Touch Keyboard confirms that this is not a straightforward synthesiser.
A few years ago, an Organisation called BEMI began building the Music Easel again. Faithful reproductions using the original schematics, but with one or two tweaks, such as the inclusion of MIDI….
I’m not sure, but following some recent research, I believe that once again the Music Easel is out of production. Buchla instruments are still being produced, but the Music Easel, is about to be updated further.
An Original 1973 Music Easel is a rare, and valuable beast, and before the BEMI manufactured reproductions become equally rare, and just as expensive, I’ve decided I need to find one. I’m on a mission……..