Looking back on the 1986 Keyboard articles with Dominic Milano

Goodness. Dominic and I were both pretty tired out, the deadline was short, the loft was being inundated with construction noises, and some of the stress shows in this 1986 Interview (I don't see it in the other three articles). While not one of my best efforts, there's a lot of decent material here, too. Still, my responses do flip about between a happy, honest excitement over the new alternative tuning abitities, and a growing general disappointment about the medium. I had long expected to see my early projects, and the ideas behind them which I'd often spoken about, would have been joined by many better new EAM albums from other artists. I really expected the ART of electroacoustic music to have moved much further than it did by the mid-80s.

Of course I was so naive and unrealistic then (and to an extent still am). Anyway, at the time we spoke, we both were feeling kind of frustrated that not more had happened, aside from the easier and more obvious sorts of steps forward. The heavy lifting remained on many back burners, I guess. Well, that was the way it seemed to me, and will explain some of my crankier impatience. Dominic also arrived with a "bee in his bonnet", actually a bee from some of the magazine's staff, what they viewed as the lowering of home studio standards and/or qualifications.

They asked me to allow them to put a comment as the interview began about this. I didn't stop to think about it at the time. In truth, I  just didn't agree with the sentence that finally was printed. Making music as a much loved hobby versus doing so as an experienced professional are quite different animals, and shouldn't be confused. Meanwhile, spreading home studios is one of the big SUCCESS stories of electroacoustic music making in the late 20th Century, isn't it? It's something I'm proud to have contributed a small role in, if only in being there early-on.

Anyway by the time I saw the proof sheets it was too late to fix anything, and I was left to take the heat on that annoying comment. And my unused edits have sat here a long while since. Finally in these definitive pdf files, it was time to set the record straight, to speak out at last. For this carefully compiled set of scanned pages, I went back to those unused copies of final edit, replaced their sentence with my matching one from the corrected proofs. Then I did similarly with several other clumsy spots which got through unedited due to that issue's unusually short lead time. Yeay, what a relief!

At the same time, Dominic was his usual very well-prepared self, and it was great fun to speak with him. So most of his questions were apt, novel, and quite deep, and I'm pleased to make this all available to you for the first time online. You may also note that while assembling the pages I took the time to remove the ads, filler and inconvenient page turns, reflowed the scanned elements together as a whole (the bottom page numbers indicate the composite pages). The physical blemishes and printing glitches are also gone. So these pdfs are better looking and easier to read than what originally appeared. I hope you enjoy reading them, listening to some of the musical examples, and learning a bit more about "Beauty in the Beast."

Also two final comments:

1) Instead of using the traditional term, "Just Intonation", for scales based on simple whole number ratio intervals, in these articles we reserve that name for the classical form of such scales. For other unconventional scales built from whole number ratios, we use a more general terms, "Perfect Intonation", or "Perfect Tuning." Traditional "Just Intonation" then becomes a subset of the latter terms, specifying tunings based on the traditional diatonic scale.

2) Some of the five audio example tracks begin with a very brief passage at the top that demonstrates the scale about to be heard. The rest of those cues are then taken from the album specified, either "Beauty in the Beast", or "Secrets of Synthesis."

--Wendy Carlos, June 2007