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Laurie Spiegel — Innovator of Electronic Music

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Laurie Spiegel is a musician, composer, cat lover, New Yorker, and an innovator of electronic music. She worked with early synthesizers at Bell Labs, exploring ways to use early computers for composition; created the popular music programming software Music Mouse; and had her interpretation of Kepler’s Harmony of the Worlds sent into space as part of the Voyager 1 and 2’s Golden Record project. Spiegel now works in relative obscurity, rarely leaving New York City. In 2012, her song Sediment (1972) was included on the Hunger Games soundtrack, and she re-emerged in the blink of the public eye. Here are a few bits and pieces of music and interviews with her that have surfaced in a search of YouTube and the internet.

She was seen by some as a pioneer of the New York new-music scene, but pulled back in the early 1980s, believing that its focus had shifted from artistic process to product. She continues to support herself through software development, and aims to use technology in music as a means of furthering her art rather than as an end in itself. In her words, “I automate whatever can be automated to be freer to focus on those aspects of music that can’t be automated. The challenge is to figure out which is which.”

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