Michael Johnsen -
David Tudor DIY
(lecture presentation)

Livelier Live-Electronics: David Tudor’s Pioneer Approach to Home-brew Instruments


Now a respected DIY grandfather, David Tudor built a secretive, inscrutable music out of thin air, vast imagination, and old-fashioned scrounging. His work is now a primary reference point for 20th century yankee experimentalism. While Stockhausen was enlisting trained engineers, Tudor went to the library, hobby mags, and Canal Street to cook up his orchestra - one which embraced chaos and focused on feedback at its heart. his toils gave birth to more than 300 instruments — most of which have no modern synth-relatives — delightful evidence of a profoundly original mind.

This talk presents circuit-level research into the overwhelming inheritance of his 500+ instruments and vast paper archive, now housed at Wesleyan University and the Getty Archive. original photos, schematic diagrams, and recordings will be presented.