Good Read: Ableton Interview “Jon Hassell: Possible Musics”

Ableton just released a fantastic interview with New York trumpeter and composer Jon Hassell.


The interview covers among other things his studies with Stockhausen, his coining of the term “Fourth World”,  his early work with Fairlight CMI, work with Bob Moog on a sound sculpture, with lots of inspiring information on his practice and art.

There was this guy named Bob Moog who came around with his new idea of one Volt equals one octave, which became the Moog synthesizer. (We actually collaborated on a sound sculpture later; a tape loop within a box that had a double reflective mirror on the inside, and every time there was a “blip”, a colored light went off. It was like this little fairyland of blips going by and each one had an output to six speakers around the room.)

Check out the article here:

2018 then seems to be auspicious moment for Jon Hassell to release a new album. Listening To Pictures (Pentimento Volume One) is his first collection of new music for nine years and represents an updated reconfiguration of all the signature elements of Hassell’s magical realists soundworld: the lush chords and fine-grained textures, the oddly intricate rhythm structures that propel forward while revolving around their own axis, and of course, the treated trumpet lines, sounding somewhere between an intimate whisper and a chorus of conch shells.

Listen to his latest album on bandcamp: Listening To Pictures (Pentimento Volume One).


Check out Jon’s bandcamp page here

jon hassell bandcamp___

Mark Mosher
Synthesist & Multimedia Artist

Artist Site:
Electronic Music Tech & Production Blog:

Good Read on Mastery for Synthesists – “Disrupt Yourself” by Whitney Johnson

In a world flooded with instant-on, presets, and apps that make complex extremely simple – I've been thinking more about the value of the artistic journey and mastery. To this end I've been reading books on the matter and thought I'd pass on some good reads in this and future posts. I also created a category called Synth & Performance Mastery.

I recently finished "Disrupt Yourself" by Whitney Johnson. The book on the surface is about personal career paths. However, whether your day job is in the music industry or not, the concepts in the book are transportable to the journey of artistic mastery.

One of the key concepts in the book as explained by Johnson –

"I believe the S-curve can also be used to understand personal disruption – the necessary pivots in our own career paths".

"If you can successfully navigate, even harness, the successive cycles of learning and mastering that resemble the S-curve model, you will see and seize opportunities in an era of accelerating disruption".

Of course this s-curve notion is explained in detail in the book and I'm not going to attempt to try and distill it here. I will say that after reading the book, I loved this idea of navigating the S-Curve. As someone who's been doing synthesis for over 30 years, I found this book helped me better understand the ebb and flow of my creativity in relation to where I am on the mastery curve with a particular set of instruments, chops – or with a particular style of show I was producing and performing. The S-curve model she lays out in the book can help you understand some emotions around boredom you may find at the top of the curve.

This notion of "navigating" S-curve cycles can help you leverage past mastery and current passions to pick the next S-curve on your artistic journey and punch-in closer to the "hypergrowth" section of the curve. For me, this has the potential to increase my happiness quotient as an artist.

I did this as a Kindle read. It's also available in hard cover and audible.

Amazon link:

Author's Microsite: