American composer, bandleader, and inventor, Raymond Scott, born on September 10, 1908 in Brooklyn, NY and passed away on February 8, 1994 in North Hills, CA. He was a pioneer of contemporary experimental music.
In 1949, Scott's most significant achievement was the creation of the Electronium - one of the earliest synthesizers ever made. This "instantaneous composing machine" generated original music through random sequences of tones, rhythms, and timbres. Although it lacked a keyboard and wasn't considered a prototype synthesizer by Scott himself, its groundbreaking use of artificial intelligence paved the way for future electronic compositions.
Scott's inventive spirit extended to other creations as well. The "Karloff," an early sampler capable of reproducing various sounds like sizzling steaks or jungle drums; the Clavinox, a keyboard Theremin featuring an electronic sub-assembly designed by Robert Moog; and the Videola which combined a keyboard with a TV screen to aid in composing music for films were among his notable inventions.
During the mid-1960s onwards, Scott shifted his focus from recording and performing to writing and inventing. His last orchestral work was a musical celebrating Kentucky Bourbon's centennial in 1969. From then on he dedicated himself solely to electronic composition. One noteworthy innovation during this period was an early programmable polyphonic