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Music (1972) 12:49
Train (1970) 06:51


"The world's first synthesizer ensemble was formed by David Borden in 1969, initially as a live band to perform their own versions of classics from the classical/minimalist repertoire of Terry Riley, Steve Reich, Robert Ashley, and Philip Glass.

Borden had been working as composer-in-residence for the Ithaca, New York school district when he became aware of developments in synthesizer technology by Bob Moog. After being invited to Moog's nearby company, Borden became one of the first to test-drive the revolutionary Moog synthesizer. (His ignorance of module synthesizers helped along many design changes that made Moogs much more user-friendly than their predecessors.)

Intrigued with the idea of live synthesizer performance in a band setting, Borden joined with Steve Drews and (later) Linda Fisher. After several performances associated with Cornell University (where Borden also worked) as well as a few in-store demonstrations for Moog, Mother Mallard began recording in 1970. They continued to perform in various live settings, but weren't able to release material until 1973, when the group's self-titled debut album appeared,." – John Bush / AllMusic

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1970-1973 collects the first album by Mother Mallard's Portable Masterpiece Co. and 20' of previously unreleased recordings. MMPMC were the world's first performing synthesizer ensemble, working closely with Robert Moog, whose first factory was nearby. This material pre-dates or is contemporary with the first contributions to the electronic music / synthesizer genre and had been forgotten until now.

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"Mother Mallard's Portable Masterpiece Company is possibly the worlds very first all-synthesizer band. Although Tangerine Dream was formed first, TD began as a psychedelic rock band using rock-oriented instrumentation. Mother Mallard was a synth-band from the get-go.

This self-titled disc covers their first three years as a band. With the exception of a lone electric piano, all of the music heard is performed entirely on Moog Synthesizers. This music is quite ahead of its time considering it was recorded between 1970 and 1973. Elements of today's techno and ambient music are heard throughout the disc. The piece entitled "Music" uses a repeated tape loop which does not sound too far out of place with today's samplers and looping techniques. The closing track "Easter" is a masterwork built upon repeated sequencer patterns. Parts of this piece are quite similar to the mechanical rhythms that Kraftwerk would adopt much later in their career (ie: Trans-Europe Express).

All of the music on this CD is very enjoyable and timeless. It's worth a listen.." – Louie Borland

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"Some of the finest electronic minimalism I've heard. The music on side one has a propulsive energy and tribal element that wouldn't be out of place on a Schnitzler album. Side two sounds like a bridge between the past and the future, taking the Terry Riley aesthetic to new heights. A very cool album." –rym


released January 18, 1999

David Borden
Steve Drews
Linda Fisher

perform on 2 Mini-Moogs, 3 custom Moog modular systems, RMI Electric piano.

Ceres Motion and Train composed by Steve Drews.
all other titles composed by David Borden.

Recorded at the R. A. Moog Co., Trumansburg, NY (1970) and at the Mother Mallard Farmhouse Studio, Enfield, NY (1972 & '73)


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Cuneiform Records Washington, D.C.

Cuneiform Records is an independent record label releasing adventurous, boundary-bursting music by artists from around the world.

Founded in 1984.
Based in Washington D.C.

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