As modular synth innovator Don Buchla passes on, two Buchla pioneers continue to look toward the future

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Early modular synth innovator Don Buchla has passed away at the age of 79, after a lengthy battle with cancer.  A peer of Robert Moog and founder of Buchla & Associates in the 1960s, Buchla’s creations changed the face of electronic music and influenced countless artists over the years.

One of those artists was Suzanne Ciani, who rose to prominence in the 1980s using a Buchla synth for her albums, tv and film scores, and even iconic sound effects like the sound of a Coke bottle being opened.  Lately she’s largely shifted her focus to classical piano, but she has now returned to the Buchla in a collaboration with one of the instrument’s modern champions, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith.  They’ve teamed up on Sunergy, Volume 13 of Rvng. Intl.’s FRKWYS series.  Strangely enough, the album was released not 24 hours apart from the passing of Don Buchla; a fitting, coincidental tribute to a great man.  Stream an excerpt below, and check out a documentary on Sunergy by Sean Hellfritsch.


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