Pioneering Dutch electronic/tape composer Dick Raaijmakers has died.
Raaijmakers was an early adopter of electronic technology for music production, and his work in the field expanded far beyond the laboratory to include film, theater, installations and visual art, and literature. He wrote for orchestras, percussion ensembles, educational and industrial films, Satie-inspired ambient and background environments, and unorthodox "musical" objects such as tractors and bicycles. He was also a noted essayist and author on new concepts and applications related to sound.Bernardus Franciscus Raaijmakers
was born in Maastricht on September 1, 1930. He studied at the Royal Conservatoire in the Hague before joining Royal Phillips Electronics Ltd. in Eindhoven, first as an apprentice in applied electronics and later (from 1954 to 1960) as an assistant in the burgeoning electro-acoustic laboratory with Dutch tape-music juggernauts such as Henk Badings
, Tom Dissevelt
, and Ton de Leeuw
Raaijmakers enjoyed some wider success in October 1957 when his alter ego, Kid Baltan, released Song of the Second Moon
in collaboration with Dissevelt. They went on to produce other short "popular" electro-acoustic works such as Night Train Blues
(for three Ondes Martinots and piano), Electronic Boogie Woogie, and Colonel Bogey's March
Raaijmakers' work at Phillips has since been commemorated in two deluxe reissues from the Basta label (best known for their Raymond Scott set, Manhattan Research Inc.
): Popular Electronics
and Complete Tape Music
Raaijmakers became a professor of Electronic and Contemporary Music at the Royal Conservatoire of the Hague in 1966, and remained there until his retirement in 1995.
He died peacefully in his sleep, three days after his 83rd birthday, on Wednesday, September 4, 2013.
Read an exhaustive chronology
of Raaijmakers' achievements.
[as Kid Baltan] (1958)