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    Laurie Spiegel – The Expanding Universe

    April 24th, 2014

    Laurie Spiegel - The Expanding Universe

    Laurie Spiegel (born 1945) is primarily a composer of electronic music best-known for the pieces she created in the 1970s at Bell Labs, which was also the home of James Tenney’s groundbreaking computer music of the ’60s. Originally released as a single LP in 1980, The Expanding Universe contains some of the work Laurie made in that time period, and has since been, uh, expanded into a double CD with a bunch of bonus tracks tacked on. Employing such archaic equipment as a room-sized Control Data Corporation DDP-224 computer console / keyboard, GROOVE (Generating Real-time Operations on Voltage-Controlled Equipment), a magnetic tape drive, a music keyboard, a 3-D joystick, a touch tone keypad, punch cards, three 1/4″ reel-to-reel two-track tape machines, analog synths, a washing machine-sized disk drive, sawtooth oscillators, voltage controlled amps, a plate reverb unit and a mixer, Laurie really had her work cut out for her. Yeah, I know you could do the same thing so easy on your iPhone now, but Laurie accomplished it all back in the days when it was a very labor intensive process. These pieces were composed then stitched together over a period of weeks or months in a situation that required Laurie to repeatedly walk up and down a long hallway and flights of stairs between the computer room and the analog equipment room to make the gear talk to each other. It’s safe to say the results paid off, as Laurie’s hard work birthed a music of such mesmerizing beauty,

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