Morton Subotnick

(b. 1933)

mode 237

Electronic Works 3


mode 237   Morton SUBOTNICK:  Electronic Works Vol.3 – Four Butterflies (1973) for 4-channel tape & 2 films (first surround & CD release); Until Spring: Revisited (1976/2009) for live electronics, glass harp & live video; A Sky of Cloudless Sulphur: Revisited (1978/2011, on DVD only) for live electronics & video – Subotnick (electronics), Miguel Frasconi (glass harp & live electronics), Sue-C (live video). DVD contains full video, surround sound and bonus interviews.
DVD Video  96/24-bit

Electronic Works 3 - CD
4 butterflies: original images by Mario Castillo. (viewed Feb. 21, 2014). 4 butterflies was originally recorded in 1973. Previously released as DVD. Electronic reproduction. Alexandria, VA : Alexander Street Press, 2014. (Classical music in video). Available via World Wide Web.

Until Spring: Revisited (1976/2009)  37:19
for live electronics, glass harp and live video projections
Morton Subotnick, live electronics
Miguel Frasconi, glass harp & live electronics
Sue Costabile (SUE-C), live video

DVD video directed by Tim Chu

4 Butterflies  (1973) 34:38
for four-track tape and two films by Mario Castillo
New surround & stereo mixes by the composer

plus on DVD only:
A Sky of Cloudless Sulphur: Revisited (1978/2011)  10:08
Morton Subotnick, live electronics
SUE-C, live video

This disc brings the first CD and surround release of the quadrophonic work for analog tape 4 Butterflies, and Subotnick’s live remix/recomposition of the classic tape piece Until Spring as Until Spring: Revisited plus, on DVD only, A Sky of Cloudless Sulphur: Revisited.

Until Spring was first conceived in 1975 on the Buchla synthesizer using only analog techniques. “It was about 10 years from Silver Apples to Until Spring,” Subotnick explains, “and I’d evolved a whole concept and a technique, but I had gone as far as I could go with it. I could do everything I wanted to do, but I couldn’t do it in real time.” As computers and software developed in the coming decades, Subotnick created a software-based instrument that he felt could allow him to complete his original vision, which led to Until Spring: Revisited, a reinterpretation constructed around source materials from Until Spring, recorded live in San Francisco. The work has been performed many times by the ensemble of Morton Subotnick (live electronics), Miguel Frasconi (live electronics and glass harp), and stunning live improvisational visual accompaniment by Sue Costabile (SUE-C) [the latter on DVD only].

Four Butterflies was originally released as a stereo LP on Columbia Records. This is its first release on CD. Mode has made a high-resolution transfer from the analog master tapes, newly remixed by the composer. Set in four sections separated by two interludes, Four Butterflies is a floating, mysterious electronic landscape. On DVD, two sections are accompanied by films created by artist Mario Castillo, which were projected during live performances during the period of the premiere. These films have not been seen since that time and have been newly transferred for this release. Also, one movement is accompanied with Subotnick’s original video experiments, never publicly screened before.

The DVD also contains special BONUS FEATURES:

  • Subotnick and SUE-C collaborate on A Sky of Cloudless Sulphur: Revisited, based on the analog tape piece A Sky of Cloudless Sulphur and created especially for this DVD.
  • One movement of Four Butterflies is presented with Subotnick’s experimental film, never before shown publicly.
  • BONUS INTERVIEW: Subotnick, Miguel Frasconi and Sue Costabile discuss their collaboration together. (29:03)
  • BONUS INTERVIEW: Subotnick and Ramon Sender speak of the early years experimenting with electronic music and creating the historic San Francisco Tape Center. (21:20)


Also by Morton Subotnick on Mode Records:
  Morton Subotnick: Gestures (CD & DVD)   (mode 97)
  Morton Subotnick: The Electronic Works 2 (CD & DVD)   (mode 132)
  Morton SUBOTNICK profile
  Mario CASTILLO profile
  Tim CHU profile
  Miguel FRASCONI profile
  SUE-C (Sue Costabile) profile

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