Today I was collecting vintage sound bytes from the Atari.
The Atari, like a lot of early analog circuit/synths, has been sampled and used widely in electronica and beyond. There are Atari synth based instruments, like the Atari Punk Synth, that sound to my ears like they could sub into a nouvelle Turangalîla.
Besides the iconic beeps of Pong, I came across a lot of early videogame music that I hadn’t heard in a very long time. There’s a lot of music that sounds like this:
Why so Baroque? Do these short bleeps with beautiful attacks and very little sustain live happily as the 20th-century harpsichord? I’ll go further out on a limb to ask if the stylistic languages of Baroque keyboard music are inextricably bound to the harpsichord and, likewise, if the sustain (let alone dynamics) available on the 19th-century piano is responsible for the harmonic radicalism that evolved in Romantic keyboard music? And what does this then mean for contemporary electronics? How do the ways that digital audio work impact the kind of music we write?