Bebe Barron on Cybernetics and Forbidden Planet

April 14, 2009

Summary: Louis and Bebe Barron, early electronic music explorers who were championed by Anais Nin, based much of their circuitry on the model presented by Norbert Wiener and believed in the cybernetics philosophy that the circuits took on a life of their own. The sounds produced were not artificially controlled by the Barrons, but were in a sense organically created by the automatic recalculations within the electronic devices. When the Barrons crashed an art show given by MGM head Dory Sherry, they laid the groundwork for getting the job for the soundtrack of the pivotal sci-fi movie Forbidden Planet, in fact taking the job from fellow modern music trailblazer Harry Partch (also championed by Nin). The result was a standard for sci-fi soundtracks that are produce to this day.

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