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Morton Subotnick performs his legendary album Silver Apples of the Moon in its entirety 45 years after it was first released. (Adam Kissick for NPR)

Morton Subotnick In Concert: Moogfest 2012

Oct 31, 2012

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Morton Subotnick released the first all-electronic album, Silver Apples of the Moon, in 1967. Last Friday, he returned to Moogfest 2012 in Asheville, N.C., to perform the whole thing live.

I can still remember the first time I first heard that record in the late 1960s. It felt revolutionary in the way it changed the nature of electronic music from science-fiction gimmicks to a major cultural and musical force. The music was commissioned by Nonesuch Records, which offered Subotnick $1,000 to create the work. (That was a lot of money back then.) Subotnick worked with electronic wizard Don Buchla, using oscillators, filters, touch-sensitive keyboards and early sequencers to create the album.

It was fascinating to hear Morton Subotnick re-create Silver Apples of the Moon 45 years later against the backdrop of Moogfest and so many other young, innovative players. I trust some of today's electronic artists showed up and delighted in what Subotnick did all those years ago.

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