Recombinant Media Labs presents
Morton Subotnick – As I Live & Breathe (with Lillevan)

June 23, 2022

7PM doors
8PM performance
9PM special teaser preview of SUBOTNICK documentary film

Morton Subotnick

Seated performance
All Ages

Proof of vaccination is required for all attendees over 12 year of age. Learn more

Recombinant Media Labs presents pioneering experimental composer and analog electronic musician Morton Subotnick in a special live performance of As I Live and Breathe, a duet of image and sound augmented with live visual animation by long-term collaborator Lillevan.

Subotnick has described the piece as “a fitting title as, at 88, it may be my last appearance on the road.”

As I Live and Breathe combines analog recordings, electronic patches, and live performance on a hybrid Buchla 200e/Ableton “instrument” with live video animation. The work opens with the sounds of Subotnick himself breathing into a microphone: a single inhale, followed by silence, followed by an exhale. There is silence and darkness between each breath gesture, and both sound & image develop in long phrases, simply at first and gradually transforming.

Morton Subotnick states, “'As I Live & Breathe' features live and sampled vocalizing along with some of my most advanced electronic performance techniques. At last, some Buchla modules are now digital plugins and Ableton Live has evolved into a form that will allow me to create a technological environment that I never expected, in my lifetime, to experience. It starts with my breath, moves through a vocalising cadenza of vocal gestures and ends with a tender and simple use of gentle rhythms and melodic fragments."

SUBOTNICK: Portrait of an Electronic Music Pioneer

Following Morton Subotnick's performance, Waveshaper Media, the makers of 2014's acclaimed modular synthesizer documentary I Dream Of Wires will be presenting a special 35-minute preview of their new, official feature-length bio-documentary about the revered avant-garde music composer.

Through a series of candid interviews and illuminating conversations with key figures from his past and present, "Subotnick" will provide an overview of this fascinating composer’s rich life and uncompromising career.

Q&A with Morton Subotnick to follow

About the Artist

Morton Subotnick Bio

Morton Subotnick

Morton Subotnick is one of the pioneers in the development of electronic music and multi-media performance and an innovator in works involving instruments and other media, including interactive computer music systems. Most of his music calls for a computer part, or live electronic processing; his oeuvre utilizes many of the important technological breakthroughs in the history of the genre. His work Silver Apples of the Moon has become a modern classic and was recently entered into the National Registry of Recorded works at the Library of Congress. In the early 60s, Subotnick taught at Mills College and with Ramon Sender, and co-founded the San Francisco Tape Music Center. It was also during this period that Subotnick worked with Don Buchla on what may have been the first analog synthesizer.



Lillevan is an animation, video and media artist. He is perhaps best known as founding member of the visual / music group Rechenzentrum (1997-2008). Lillevan has performed and collaborated with many artists from a wide array of genres, from opera to installation, from minimal electronic experimentalism to dance and classical music. Lillevan recontextualizes, combines and politicizes existing film images and fragments. Since the mid-nineties he has mainly investigated non-narrative facets of film which has lead to completely abstract works, but also to collage explorations of film history, to interactive works for dance groups and much more. The focus is often on the musicality of the imagery, thus defining the moving imagery as an instrument in its own right as opposed to accompanying music.


Recombinant Media Labs

The Recombinant Media Labs organization was founded to research the qualities and artistic potential of Spatial Cinema. It does so by means of Experiential Engineering; exploring processes that propagate the aesthetic and technological boundaries of panoramic AV exhibition. RML acts as producer and presenter of hybrid artworks and performance archiving based on spatial media synthesis; intermodal works using image, light, sound and other disseminated media in three-dimensional space. The CineChamber is RML's curated, nomadic platform under the artistic trajectory of founder & Director Naut Humon plus a superhuman crew.

Waveshaper Media

Waveshaper Media is a film and television production company based in Toronto dedicated to preserving electronic music history. Formed in 2011 when director Robert Fantinatto and producer Jason Amm got together to produce the 2014 indie-film hit I Dream of Wires, the company is currently producing two new feature -ength documentaries along with an ongoing web series and a specialized music label.

Goethe-Institut San Francisco

The Goethe-Institut is the cultural institute of the Federal Republic of Germany with a global reach. We promote knowledge of the German language abroad and foster international cultural cooperation. We convey a comprehensive image of Germany by providing information about cultural, social and political life in our nation. Our cultural and educational programmes encourage intercultural dialogue and enable cultural involvement. They strengthen the development of structures in civil society and foster worldwide mobility.

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