21 апреля 2011 года скончался Макс Мэтьюс – пионер компьютерной музыки,
создатель первой в мире музыкальной компьютерной программы MUSIC (1957).


Макс Метьюс (1926-2011) - отец компьютерной музыки, выдающийся учёный и изобретатель скончался 21 апреля 2011 года от осложнений, связанных с пневмонией. Ему было 85 лет.

Ниже мы приводим текст с воспоминаниями о Максе его друга - композитора Джона Эпплтона.


Jon Appleton
My Friend Max
Among the characteristics of great men and women are humility,
generosity, loyalty, conviction, enterprise and curiosity. These are all traits
I have observed in the nearly forty years I have known Max Mathews.
I met him in 1970 on the island of Lidingö in Sweden where we both
attended a UNESCO sponsored meeting on music and technology. I was
an enthusiastic, young turk and thrilled to be at the same conference with
Xenakis, Schaeffer, Koenig, et al. It was also the time that I formed life-long
friendships with Jean-Claude Risset and Lars-Gunnar Bodin.

It was at that conference that Max Mathews said, “The future will
add the digital computer to the equipment of today’s electronic studio.
In the near future it will control analog sound synthesizers. Together
the digital and analog form a hybrid sound synthesizer. In the far future
analog devices may be swept away by more reliable and accurate digital
synthesizers constructed from integrated circuits. The result will be real-
time digital synthesizers which can be played with all the nuances of
present-day performance and all the precision and range of sound quality
achieved by present-day digital synthesis. The future grows from the
past and, and the past is now long enough to reveal at least the next step

Max Mathews was the only distinguished figure at that conference
that listened to my ideas. This is something he has done for many, many
young composers and scientists who were interested in advancing the cause
of computer music. In countless ways he encouraged me throughout my
professional and personal life. The one exception was the time I ran for the
Vermont Senate in 1990. He thought it was a waste of my time and he was
right. I lost. The day after my loss I flew to Stanford and began composing

I have little math and science background except that which I learned
from my Synclavier colleague Sydney Alonso. This ignorance never
deterred Max Mathews from helping me work from what I knew. He is an

infinitely patient teacher to those who are dedicated to improving their skills
in computer music. He guided us in the development of the Synclavier. He
taught me how to compose for and perform on the radio baton. His gifts
shaped my career.

Much has been written, here and elsewhere, about Max Mathews
as a pioneer and his enormous contribution to the creation of hardware
and software for musical purposes. Much less has been written about his
powerful influence on composers in the electro-acoustic music community.

Although Max had played the violin since his childhood in Nebraska,
and although he has had a long and abiding interest in many styles of music,
the early work in the1950s to use a computer were mostly in the service
of telephony. Max was quick to understand the musical potential of his
inventive work and he also recognized that music was an excellent model for
aural communication. He instinctively understood the cognitive relationship
between speech, hearing and music. Only recently has what he understood
become a subject of studies by psychologists studying music cognition
through the use of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

As early as 1961 Max invited composer and theorist David Lewin
(1933-2003) to work at the Bell Telephone Laboratories where composed
his Study No. 1. The next year James Tenney (1934-2006) came to use the
computers at Bell where he worked for two years composing Dialogues,
Phases and Noise Study. Also at that time Tenney composed his Stochastic
Quartet that used the computer for both synthesis and composition. Also in
1965 composer Gerald Strang (1908-1983) composed his Compusitions, also
employing stochastic methods.

Shortly thereafter the composer and scientist Jean-Claude Risset
arrived from France. He worked with Max from 1964 to 1969 with a two-
year break. His important work is described elsewhere in these pages.
However, it should be noted that his work Mutations set a high standard for
subsequent composers working in computer music. Many, including this
writer, consider it as the first truly expressive computer music composition.

Also in the 1960s Max was instrumental in helping composers at
Princeton University to start working with computer music. In 1965, as
the result of a gift of a data converter from Bell Telephone Laboratories,
Princeton opened its own computer music facility based around the

University's IBM 7094 mainframe computer. Over the years the laboratory
provided facilities for a number of noted composers, particularly in earlier
days when few such facilities were available. These composers include,
Godfrey Winham (1934-1974) Barry Vercoe (1937- ), Charles Dodge 1942-
), Hubert S. Howe (1942- ), J.K. Randall (1929- ), and Jonathan Harvey
(1939- ).

At about this same time, the brilliant composer and scientist John
Chowning (1934- ) consulted with Max frequently and his reminiscences are
also contained in these pages.

One of the pioneers of electro-acoustic music in the United States,
Vladimir Ussachevsky, sought out Max to see if some of his favorites
analog techniques could be achieved by computer (specifically the use of
the klangumwander). The result was his work entitled Computer Piece No.
1. In the 1970s many of the established centers for electronic music were
reluctant to undertake computer music because of the cost of the equipment,
the difficulty of learning a new approach, and the absence of real-time audio
feedback to which electronic music composers were accustomed. It took a
sense of adventure to wander into this world and Max served as a guide to
many other gifted, independent composers. Among these were Emmanuel
Ghent (1925-2003) whose composition Phosphones remains a classic and
Laurie Spiegel (1945- ) whose early experience at the Bell Laboratories
shaped her subsequent work as a music programmer.

The composer and author F. Richard Moore worked with Max from
1967 to 1972 and is known for his work on the Music V language at Bell
and the collaborative article with Max and Jean-Claude Risset "Computers
and Future Music," Science (25 January 1974). He also worked with Max on
the radio baton and the implementation of the GROOVE system described
elsewhere in these pages.

The invention of the electronic violin and the radio baton also led
a diverse group of composers and performers to work with Max. These
included Pierre Boulez (1925- ), Laurie Anderson (1947- ), Michael Sahl
(1934- ), Vinko Globokar (1934- ), Michael Urbaniak (1943- ), Richard
Boulanger (1956- ), Daniel Arfib (1949- ) and Gerald Bennett (1942- ).

Max consulted informally with many other composers at numerous
national and international meetings of The Acoustical Society of America,

The Audio Engineering Society, The Society for Electro-Acoustic Music
in the United States, the International Computer Music Conference, The
International Electroacoustic Music Academy (Bourges, France) and many
others in Cuba, Russia, Argentina, Japan, etc.

Max was the first Scientific Advisor to the Institute de Recherche
et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM), Paris, France from 1974
to 1980. His ideas shaped much of the initial direction in computer music
research at that institution and he attempted to introduce many composers
there but without significant success.

There have been, and continue to be, many adventures traveling
with Max. We attended most of the SEAMUS meetings together and a few
of the ICMA meetings. I arranged for Max to come to Moscow where he
graciously agreed to be on the board of the newly established Theremin
Center at the Moscow Conservatory of Music. Max and I traveled to
Havana, Cuba where we attended the electronic music festival organized
by Juan Blanco. We both made a serious effort to unite the electronic music
studios of Juan Blanco and the late Carlos Fariñas. For thirty-five of my
forty years at Dartmouth College, Max came to speak to my students. He has
done the same all over the United States and the world.

So many of us owe our careers to Max V. Mathews.


Jon Appleton is a composer living in White River Junction, Vermont.