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Ruth White - Short Circuits (Angel, 1971)

I scooped up Short Circuits by Ruth White a couple months ago and immediately fell in love with her sound. While I was still in the store, I had a vague recollection of having read an article about her significant contribution to electronic music as a synth pioneer and children's music educator. For the life of me, I haven't been able to find that article since bringing the record home... still lookin' though!

Ruth White plays classical music, but re-interprets the songs featuring the otherworldly sounds of the Moog synthesizer. Beyond what I've taken in over the years through pop culture and just plain osmosis, I'm pretty ignorant to classical music. However, I still recognize a good portion of the selections on Short Circuits.

Her take on Rimsky-Korsakov's “The Flight of The Bumblebee” is a brief, manic, playful composition that sounds like a crazed robot bumblebee grinding his wings against the air, trying to get to that pollen... Awesome stuff! The arrangement for Satie's “Gymnopedie No. 1” has a particularly haunting, melancholy that I can listen to on repeat everyday, all day. While her version of Chopin's “Prelude in E Minor” sounds like the score for a cult science fiction flick. The buzzing sound in the background is hypnotic.

Give Ms. White a listen by viewing all three videos featured below, and be sure to keep your eyes peeled for this and any other of her records you may encounter. She was way ahead of her time!

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Reader Comments (1)

Damn! I thought for a moment I could replace my long lost rip of Short Circuits, still it is a pleasure to hear a couple of the tracks again. The two occultural albums she made, Flowers Of Evil and 7 Trumps From The Tarot Cards And Pinions (which have been recently reissued by a French label on vinyl but not on CD sadly) are amongst my all time favourite electronic albums, she was so ahead of her time, she still sounds like the future.

July 16, 2014 | Unregistered Commentersaucerpeople

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