Laurie Spiegel

the expanding universe
The Expanding Universe is the classic 1980 debut album by composer and computer music pioneer Laurie Spiegel. The pieces comprising The Expanding Universe combine slowly evolving textures with the emotional richness of intricate counterpoint, harmony, and complex rhythms (John Fahey and J. S. Bach are both cited as major influences in the original cover’s notes), all built of electronic sounds. These works, often grouped with those of Terry Riley, Phil Glass, Steve Reich, differ in their much shorter, clear forms. Composed and realized between 1974 and 1977 on the GROOVE system developed by Max Mathews and F.R. Moore at Bell Laboratories, the pieces on this album were far ahead of their time both in musical content and in how they were made.

Lisa Rovner

‘Sisters with Transistors’, a documentary about the pioneers of electronic music

This November, a new documentary dedicated to the pioneers of electronic music will see the light under the name ‘Sisters with Transistors’. The feature centers around the work of figures such as Suzanne Ciani, Delia Derbyshire, Laurie Spiegel, and Clara Rockmore.
The feature aims to reveal a unique struggle for emancipation and restore the central role of women in the history of music and society in general.
‘We, women, were especially attracted to electronic music when the possibility of a woman composing was itself controversial. Electronics allow us to make music that others can listen to without having to be taken seriously by the male-dominated establishment’, says the director of the piece.