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Synthesizer

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 2, 2011 | Los Angeles Times staff and wire reports
Composer Milton Babbitt, who was known for his complex orchestral compositions and credited with developing the first electronic synthesizer in the 1950s, has died. He was 94. Babbitt died Saturday of natural causes at University Medical Center at Princeton in New Jersey, the university announced. In the 1950s, RCA hired Babbitt as a consultant as it was developing the Mark II synthesizer. He became a founder and director of the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center, where the synthesizer was installed.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 28, 2013 | Thomas H. Maugh II
The difference between a glove for the left hand and one for the right is obvious to the human eye, even though the two are mirror images of each other. It is an easy task to distinguish between them and separate them from each other. Most biological molecules have similar mirror images, but it can be difficult to distinguish between them and even harder to separate them. Hardest of all is synthesizing only the desired form, because only this form will interact with other biological molecules in the correct fashion.
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ENTERTAINMENT
September 3, 2006
CHRIS PASLES didn't tell us anything about the sound of the Fauxharmonic in Sunday's short item about its Beethoven symphony project ["A Sample of What's in Store for Music?" Aug. 27]. I logged onto their website and listened to a bit of the two samples. We weren't warned how unimpressive and tinny the "virtual orchestra" really is. One might give a little credit for the woodwind sound in the first few bars of the "Tristan" prelude, but the string parts and the full ensemble in both excerpts sounded like an AARP synthesizer in the bad ol' days.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 12, 2013 | By Mikael Wood
Even by the outré standards of the 1980s - when music was full of smooth criminals and material girls - the Pet Shop Boys stood out. Two fashion-conscious English guys with the crisp enunciation of schoolteachers, the pioneering duo made electronic synth-pop that looked to the future just as it drew on the old-fashioned storytelling of Noel Coward and P.G. Wodehouse. But nearly 30 years after it broke out with the worldwide smash "West End Girls," the group might be more singular now than it was back then: It's the exceedingly rare veteran act that's gone about its business - and held onto much of its fanbase - without coming across as desperate or uninspired.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 6, 2012 | By Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic
About 15 minutes into a phone conversation regarding her new collection "Lixiviation: Ciani/Musica, Inc. 1969-1985," electronic music composer Suzanne Ciani tossed out a surprising musical factoid. In her youth as a busy session player in New York City, her mastery of early portable synthesizers resulted in as many as four gigs a day. It also landed her a guest spot on David Letterman's old daytime show and provided an opportunity to make the tones, moans and Vocoder-enhanced voice of Bally pinball's android seductress Xenon . But her best-known creation arrived when Ciani was hired by producer Phil Ramone in 1975 to craft an electronic sound effect for group called the Starland Vocal Band.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 8, 1985 | MARTIN BERNHEIMER, Times Music/Dance Critic
The names heralded in humongous letters on billboards further up the Strip belong to Johnny Mathis, Debbie Reynolds and Engelbert Humperdinck. But the conspicuous attraction on the supersign outside the Aladdin Casino is none other than Mikhail Baryshnikov. There his likeness flies in the glitzy sky, frozen in a grand jete amid the neon splendors of quaint neo-penal Bagdad architecture. It isn't a mirage.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 22, 2009 | MARK SWED, MUSIC CRITIC
An unselfconscious generation of young composers who see no distinction between high art and low has come upon the scene. All the old controversies are over. But so too, as the Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group demonstrated Tuesday night at Walt Disney Concert Hall, is some of the fun. The earliest of the three works on this Green Umbrella Concert was Louis Andriessen's "De Stijl" (The Style). It was written in 1985, and the philharmonic's consulting composer for new music, Steven Stucky, described it in a talk before the concert as Stravinsky meets James Brown in Amsterdam and they smoke a joint.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 20, 1997 | DON HECKMAN
The irony was inescapable at the opening of Madredeus' concert Saturday at Veterans Wadsworth Theater. The highly praised Portuguese ensemble, appearing with a new instrumental lineup that abandons the accordion and cello so vital to its earlier sound, was unable to start the program on time because of technical problems with its keyboard synthesizer. A year ago, when Madredeus' first Southland appearance generated waves of enthusiasm, the technical problem would have had far less effect.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 12, 2004 | Kevin Crust
A PhD in engineering physics who began building theremins with his father as a teenager, Bob Moog is a mostly unsung figure in recent music history. Director Hans Fjellestad's documentary "Moog" aims to change that and will undoubtedly strike a chord with fans as they recognize the omnipresence of the Moog electronic synthesizer over 40 years of music.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 13, 1990 | HERBERT J. VIDA
Jennifer Puhl has found an appreciative audience for her synthesized electronic music in an unlikely setting--University United Methodist Church in Irvine. "I could feel my audience was listening and listening in a different way, wondering what was going to happen next," said Puhl, 44, who recently performed a concert on the three-keyboard organ in the church, which had been electronically modified for the occasion. The church was packed.
SCIENCE
May 25, 2012 | By Thomas H. Maugh II
In honor of the upcoming Summer Olympics, British scientists have synthesized and IBM scientists in Switzerland have imaged the smallest possible molecule with five rings, an unusual molecule that they have named olympicene. The molecule is just 1.2 nanometers in width, about a hundred thousandth the width of a human hair. The molecule, composed of 19 carbon atoms and 12 hydrogen atoms, essentially consists of five interlocked benzene rings and was synthesized by chemists David Fox and Anish Mistry of the University of Warwick.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 6, 2012 | By Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic
About 15 minutes into a phone conversation regarding her new collection "Lixiviation: Ciani/Musica, Inc. 1969-1985," electronic music composer Suzanne Ciani tossed out a surprising musical factoid. In her youth as a busy session player in New York City, her mastery of early portable synthesizers resulted in as many as four gigs a day. It also landed her a guest spot on David Letterman's old daytime show and provided an opportunity to make the tones, moans and Vocoder-enhanced voice of Bally pinball's android seductress Xenon . But her best-known creation arrived when Ciani was hired by producer Phil Ramone in 1975 to craft an electronic sound effect for group called the Starland Vocal Band.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 2, 2011 | Los Angeles Times staff and wire reports
Composer Milton Babbitt, who was known for his complex orchestral compositions and credited with developing the first electronic synthesizer in the 1950s, has died. He was 94. Babbitt died Saturday of natural causes at University Medical Center at Princeton in New Jersey, the university announced. In the 1950s, RCA hired Babbitt as a consultant as it was developing the Mark II synthesizer. He became a founder and director of the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center, where the synthesizer was installed.
SCIENCE
May 20, 2010 | By Thomas H. Maugh II and Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times
In a major step toward the creation of artificial life, researchers announced Thursday that they've created the first cell controlled entirely by DNA assembled from laboratory chemicals. Molecular biologist J. Craig Venter, the primary author of the report detailing the findings, described the converted cell as "the first self-replicating species we've had on the planet whose parent is a computer." The achievement is notable both from a scientific standpoint and from a practical one, said microbiologist Clyde Hutchison of the J. Craig Venter Institute in La Jolla, a co-author of the paper.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 17, 2010 | By Larry Gordon, Los Angeles Times
Samuel Starr rode in circles to graduate from Pomona College. One thousand, six hundred circles. To fulfill a college requirement that all seniors complete a research thesis or creative project, the art major and bicycling enthusiast built his own wooden velodrome and then rode its slanted track for up to two hours in public performances. Whipping around the 132-foot circumference in less than five seconds a lap, he clocked about 1,600 circles, or 40 miles, one recent morning and, apart from a sore neck, seemed hardly the worse for wear.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 31, 2010 | By Thomas H. Maugh II
Astrophysicist Geoffrey Burbidge, who with his wife and two other colleagues determined how elements are synthesized in the nuclear reactors of stars, died Tuesday at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla after a long illness. He was 84. Widely honored for his contributions to astrophysics, cosmology and the study of radio galaxies, Burbidge became notorious in recent years for his refusal to accept the widely held view that the universe originated in a Big Bang, arguing instead that matter is continually created, emerging as quasars ejected from energetic galaxies.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 14, 1986 | ZAN STEWART
Like most contemporary jazz artists, keyboardist Tom Grant was faced with a problem: how to make his music distinctive. For the 40-year-old Grant, the solution was to put that warhorse of music, the acoustic piano, at the center of his group's sound. "The piano's a voice that's in everything we do," Grant said in a telephone interview from a tour stop in Houston recently. "I rely on it. Of course, we have the blend of the individual instrumentalists, but the piano is the focus."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 13, 2001
Re "The Other Mideast Struggle," editorial, Aug. 7: President Mohammad Khatami is no Nelson Mandela or, for that matter, Nikita Khrushchev (to whom you compare him). He is a thoughtful, highly educated philosopher (not politician) who understands two basic facts of life about his country: its Iranian-Islamic culture and the deep religious beliefs of the vast majority of its people, and the need for a democratic system of government that values and respects this culture. For four years he has been leading a wide-ranging coalition that includes the overwhelming majority of the Iranian people in a quest for establishing such a system of government.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 28, 2009 | Thomas H. Maugh II
Eugene van Tamelen, a Stanford chemist who was a pioneer in determining the structure of complex natural molecules and then synthesizing them, died Dec. 12 of cancer, the university announced. He was 84. He was "an exceptional intellect, with an extraordinary imagination," said chemist John Brauman, now a professor emeritus at Stanford. "He was constantly inventing new reactions and new approaches to interesting molecules. " FOR THE RECORD: Van Tamelen obituary: The obituary of Stanford chemist Eugene van Tamelen in Monday's Section A said that Van Tamelen's son, Peter, lives in Corvallis, Wash.
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