Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Deconstructing Dad -The Music, Machines and Mystery of Raymond Scott

Raymond Scott is a great musical Powerhouse of the 20th century. In our previous posting we literally looked at Scott's Powerhouse - the inventive jazz work, the staple of Bugs Bunny cartoons, and its entree into 21st century musical vernacular.

After a successful career as the house bandleader on Your Hit Parade, Scott moves to the East Coast and begins a career in electronic music composition. And reveals himself a musical genius on a par with Frank Zappa and an electronic instrument genius on the order of Robert Moog. In fact, Robert Moog saw Raymond Scott's Electronium prototype as a boy. This inspired his own work.

Scott's son Stan Warnow and some chums have put together an amateur film which documents his tortured relationship with his father, his father's glamorous musical career, his father's womanizing, and the sadness at the end of his life that this shining invention would never be completed.

What is interesting about Raymond Scott is that other synthesizer inventors built keyboard-based instruments that could be played by a musician. Raymond Scott's devices were sequencers which actually composed the music they played.

Raymond Scott - Portifino

RAYMOND SCOTT - Cindy Electronium (1959) - Art Monad 144- モナド - 人生の花

And today ex-Devo frontman Mark Mothersbaugh owns the Electronium Raymond Scott's manufactured for Motown's Barry Gordy. They hope to restore it.


  1. Wow, so many errors here, I'm not sure where to begin. But thanks.

  2. My own son responds:

    Erin Fox

    Hi Dad,
    I listened to those versions of Powerhouse. I gotta say I never realized those pieces were all apart of the same song. Really cool. Also I wish they would hurry up and restore that electronium!