Producer/director Connie Field and editor Gregory Sharpen of Clarity Films are working on a documentary about the synth legend Don Buchla. They started a Kickstarter project to raise the funds to be able to finish the documentary. They have 10 days left to reach their goal of $25,000. Please check it out if you’re interested in learning more about Don Buchla and his amazing instruments.
Connie Field: “When we’ve told people that we’re preparing a documentary about Don Buchla, we get one of two reactions: a) Wow! It’s about time The man’s a genius! Why hasn’t this happened already? or b) Don who?
We want to make a movie that can live up to the expectations and desires and hopes for the people who answered a), and that can introduce Don in the best way possible to those who answered b).”
Don Buchla is a remarkable man. He created a unique modular analog synthesizer which changed the way people think about, compose and perform music. Buchla designed his instruments with the musician in mind. He designed the front panels of his modules first, then the electronics behind it. This approach resulted in unique and flexible modules with dense functionality with names like “Source of Uncertainty”.
The list of musicians and composers who use Buchla’s instruments range from avant-garde composer Morton Subotnick to Nine Inch Nails, and all in between. With a passion for music and engineering, Don Buchla created electronic musical instruments the world had never dreamed of before.
A little bit of history
Don Buchla created his first instrument in 1963: the 100 series Modular Electronic Music System. The 200 series Electric Music Box followed in 1970.
In 1972 Buchla created the famous Buchla Music Easel, a performance instrument.
The Buchla 400, with video display, came to life in 1982.
Entering the age of MIDI, the Buchla 700 was released in 1987. Buchla saw the potential of MIDI for alternative controllers and shifted his attention to the design of controllers: Thunder in 1990 and Lightning in 1991. An updated version, Lightning II was released in 1996.
In 1995, Don Buchla designed the OB-Mx for Oberheim.
In 2002, he decided to revive the 200 series and this resulted in new and improved modules which he called the 200e series.
In 2012 the Buchla Music Easel was released again in its original form.