Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Electronic music pioneer Max V. Mathews died a few days ago at the age of 84
Electronic music pioneer Max V. Mathews died a few days ago at the age of 84. While at BELL Labs in the 1950s, Matthews developed MUSIC, the first popular computer program for generating sound. The multimedia visual programming language Max/MSP was named in part for Mathews. From Wikipedia:
In 1961, Mathews arranged the accompaniment of the song "Daisy Bell" for an uncanny performance by computer-synthesized human voice, using technology developed by John Kelly of Bell Laboratories and others. Author Arthur C. Clarke was coincidentally visiting friend and colleague John Pierce at the Bell Labs Murray Hill facility at the time of this remarkable speech synthesis demonstration and was so impressed that he later told Stanley Kubrick to use it in 2001: A Space Odyssey, in the climactic scene where the HAL 9000 computer sings while his cognitive functions are disabled.