Bruce Haack and his sampling electronic suitcase

Long time listeners and readers of this blog would know my eternal love for Bruce Haack – the electronic genius who sadly still doesn’t get the love he deserves. I’ve seen other clips from his stints on US TV – in fact I think I have posted them with his ‘touch synthesizer’ including Mr Rogers but I’ve never seen this clip of him appearing with Ms Nelson until today. As pointed out on Get Into This, it’s probably the first, or one of the first instances of a sampling circa 1968 (article says 1967 but I was sure it’s 1968 and Wikipedia confirms that), using Rolling Stones for the ‘Wheels’ section.

The article goes into other instances, I’d add as well as the obvious Beatles ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ from 1966, Pauline Oliveros who died last year, and her Bye Bye Butterfly from 1965…before that you get into Cage and his tape works, Burroughs et al with cutups, and all the way back to Pierre Schaeffer. But certainly it looks like Haack has them beat regarding an actual machine for sampling, rather than recording off radio or records – and the idea of using ‘breaks’ and musical loops.

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