It's been reported today that Don Buchla, modular synthesizer pioneer and contemporary of Bob Moog, has passed away aged 79.
Although no official announcement has been made, a post by ZenMusic on the Muff Wigglers message board first brought this sad news to light. It's since been confirmed by AskAudio with those that knew Don well.
Here is an excerpt from ZenMusic's post:
"Don Buchla who has been in Hospice for the last months, has passed from this life. I will update this with more details. Perhaps we can post in this thread, best memories and experiences with Don and his musical instruments.
"There will never be another Don Buchla. Best wishes for your next adventure my friend. Thank you for this one."
Don Buchla created his first modular synthessizer, the Buchla Series 100, in 1963 and his synths are most well known (and loved) for their experimental control interfaces. If you wanted a keyboard controlled synthesizer in those times Moog was the way to go. However, Buchla's could often be found with touch-sensitive plates.
His pioneering work in the world of synthesizers has influenced many artists from Alessandro Cortini to Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, and informed and inspired many synthesizer makers and designers the world over.
Here's some videos of Don Buchla and featuring his creations in a musical context. We'll have a full tribute from a personal viewpoint of an early Buchla user coming soon.
RIP Don Buchla