50 Years Silver Apples of the Moon

Morton Subotnick, Lillevan, and Alec Empire perform "From Silver Apples to a Sky of Cloudless Sulphur, Revisited" in commemoration of the 50-year anniversary of Subotnick's seminal release, Silver Apples of the Moon.

Released by Nonesuch in 1967, Silver Apples of the Moon was the first electronic composition ever that was especially conceived for a vinyl release, and put forth sounds and musical structures that were strangely new at the time. The album would not have been possible to create without the revolutionary modular synthesis techniques created by the recently deceased Donald Buchla who, together with Subotnick and Ramon Sender, developed not only novel key and button-less control interfaces in the 1960s, but also the sequencer; a technical module that made the surprising musical structures of Silver Apples possible, and that moreover forever changed the sound of avant-garde and pop music.

Subotnick revisits Silver Apples followed by musical elements from albums Sidewinder, Until Spring, Cloudless Sulphur, and Crowds and Power (his recent work for the Lincoln Center Festival). The performance unfolds within a series of solos and duets; at times, Subotnick performs and then turns the stage over to Alec Empire, who follows with his own performance of the performance. At other times they play together. Lillevan creates stunning visual imagery throughout.

Morton Subotnick is one of the pioneers of electronic music and an innovator in works involving instruments and other media, such as interactive computer music systems. The work which brought Subotnick celebrity was Silver Apples of the Moon (1966-7). Commissioned by Nonesuch Records, it marked the first time an original large-scale composition had been created specifically for the disc medium – a conscious acknowledgment that the home stereo system constituted a present-day form of chamber music. It has become a modern classic and was recently entered into the National Register of Recorded Works at the Library of Congress. Only 300 recordings throughout the entire history of recorded music have been chosen for this collection.

Subotnick is also pioneering methods with which to offer musical creative tools to young children. He is the author of a series of CD-RoMs for children, a children’s website [www.creatingmusic.com], and is developing classroom and after-school programs that will soon become available internationally.

Alec Empire is often described as a radical, an innovator, and an artist who is never satisfied with the limits that define genres. He is many things to many people. 
An award winning producer and composer who has politicized electronic dance music with his group, Atari Teenage Riot, since the 90s, he created modern protest music for the internet age and the soundtrack to countless anti-Nazi rallies & riots all over the world. The global hacker community continues to be inspired and keeps Empire close. 
His album Burn Berlin Burn sold so many copies in the US that it went gold, while at the same time authorities in Germany blacklisted the album describing it as a "potential threat to society".

Alec is a multi-faceted artist who has triggered interest from many other artists. He has collaborated with Bjork, composed 5 albums for the Mille Plateaux label, which was inspired by the thinking of Gilles Deleuze, and applied post-modernist deconstruction methods to jazz, dub and musique concrete. 
Empire ́s recent works include composing films scores for German-Palestinian director Tarek Ehlail’s “Volt,” a dystopian sci-fi in which a police officer murders a refugee, and Austrian director Paul Poet’s “My Talk With Florence,” an interview film with Florence Burnier-Bauer, who was the key witness in the Otto Muehl trial.
 Morton Subotnick’s album, Silver Apples Of The Moon, inspired Empire when he was still in his teens, growing up in a Berlin still divided by the Wall at the time. 

Lillevan is an animation, video and media artist.
 He is perhaps best known as founding member of the visual / music group Rechenzentrum (1997-2008). Lillevan has performed and collaborated with many artists from a wide array of genres, from opera to installation and minimal electronic experimentalism to dance and classical music, and has performed and exhibited all over the globe at major media art festivals.