Fleeting sounds

Remembering Tim Haslett, plus Morton Subotnick comes to town
By SUSANNA BOLLE  |  March 24, 2008

Morton Subotnick
This week saw the unexpected passing of TIM HASLETT, a key figure in Boston’s underground music scene for many years. Known for the extraordinary breadth and depth of his musical knowledge, Tim hosted a string of radio programs on WZBC beginning with Hard Wired in the early ’90s, a show that turned many listeners (and innumerable future DJs) onto the futuristic sounds of techno from Detroit and beyond. He was also an insightful and eloquent critic who wrote on dance and electronic music for magazines like URB, CMJ, and Rockpool. Over the years, he worked in many of Boston’s finest underground record shops (Boston Beat, Twisted Village, Other Music, and more), but he had none of the cynicism of the stereotypical clerk. His enthusiasm for the music was palpable and infectious. Although he left Boston for graduate school at Michigan State (where he was found dead in his apartment a week ago Friday) more than a year ago, his absence is now more keenly and painfully felt. I’ll talk more about Tim — and scheduled memorial events — in next week’s column.

On April 3, composer MORTON SUBOTNICK will perform new work at Emmanuel Church in Back Bay. A pioneering figure in American experimental electronic music, Subotnick is best known for Silver Apples of the Moon, an expressive (even groovy) 1967 piece composed for Buchla modular synthesizer. He long ago traded in his bulky Buchla for a more portable laptop, and in addition to composing has developed innovative musical-software programs for children. Subotnick is appearing as part of the Chapter Music series at Emmanuel organized by Andrew Fenlon, who will also perform as one half of the electronic duo Elizabeth Taylor & Richard Burton.

MORTON SUBOTNICK + ELIZABETH TAYLOR & RICHARD BURTON | Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury St, Boston | April 3 | $15; $12 students | Twisted Village @ 617.354.6898

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