Paul Lansky - mild und leiseThe English rock band Radiohead uses a sample from my very first computer piece, mild und leise, on one of the tracks on their CD, Kid A. (Yes, they very graciously asked permission, and I gave it. ) In fact, I really like what they did with the sample; it is quite imaginative and inventive. mild und leise was composed in 1973 on an IBM 360/91 mainframe computer. I used the Music360 computer language written by Barry Vercoe. This IBM mainframe was, as far as I know, the only computer on the Princeton University campus at the time. It had about one megabyte of memory, and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars (in addition to requiring a staff to run it around the clock). At that point we were actually using punch cards to communicate with the machine, and writing the output to a 1600 BPI digital tape which we then had to carry over to a lab in the basement of the engineering quadrangle in order to listen to it. Here is a photo of me in the lab a few years later. The piece came out on a Columbia/Odyssey LP in 1975 or so as a result of a contest run by the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM). It was called Electronic Music Winners (I’ve occasionally seen it for sale on Ebay), and Jonny Greenwood came across it in a used record shop when the band was on tour in the United States recently I think it sold about 7000 copies, which is a lot for a classical recording. (Kid A will sell that in the first 10 seconds of its release!)
What’s especially cute, and also occured to Jonny Greenwood, is that I was about his current age, when I wrote the piece—sort of a musical time warp.
The sampled part occurs in the first minute.