Tank Masters Series

Todd Barton
Solstice Performance

On June 19, 2021, Todd Barton headlined the Solstice Festival at the TANK Center for Sonic Arts, in Rangely, Colorado. Known as one of the pioneers of the synthesizer on the West Coast, Todd also played recorder and shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute) for his performance in The TANK.

Here’s Todd, playing the shakuhachi in The TANK.

The track below is a montage of moments from his concert. It intersperses his woodwind instruments with improvisation on synthesizer.  The first piece in this montage is De Lof Zangh Marie from 1648 by Jacob van Eyck, which Todd Barton performs on a tenor recorder. The main body of music here is freely improvised on his Buchla Music Easel, an analog synthesizer. The montage concludes with Todd’s original composition for shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute) entitled Tai Hei (Big Peace).

Todd Barton is a composer, sound designer, multimedia performer, and analog synthesist, specializing in Buchla Electronic Musical Instruments, the iconic synthesizers that have defined West Coast experimental music since the early ‘70s.  He is also Resident Composer Emeritus for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

His compositions have been performed by the KRONOS Quartet, Oregon Symphony Orchestra, San Jose Chamber Orchestra, Southern Oregon Repertory Singers, the Shasta Taiko, and the Rogue Valley Symphony, to name a few.  Barton has received numerous awards for his theater music including the ASCAP Award for Popular Music, Dramalogue Critics Award, and the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award. He recently received a Jeff Award Nomination in Chicago for his original score to The Oedipus Complex.

His music has been heard on NPR’s Morning Edition, Westcoast Live, and the Curve of Wonder. Todd’s Genome Music has been heard and exhibited at the Smithsonian Institute, the Carnegie Institute of Biological Research at Stanford University, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the Graduate Art Gallery at CUNY (NY) as well as mentioned in articles for the Washington Post, New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, The  Economist and Wired.

After four decades of exploration Todd Barton is still delving deeply into the ever-expanding frontiers of musical expression: from his DNA derived Genome Music to his innovative scores for plays at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival; from performances of Zen Shakuhachi Meditation Music to avant-garde music for electronic synthesizers and computers; from performing with luminaries of jazz and poetry to lecturing on music and composition from the Middle Ages to the 21st Century.

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