Raymond Scott dot com
March 9, 2007 11:23 PM   Subscribe

Raymond Scott dot com — you might not have heard of the man, this cartoon composer, inventor of electronic musical instruments and leader of the world's largest quintet, but his impact on modern music is hard to overstate [Realplayer, NPR]
posted by Kattullus (17 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I learned about him here. Ambient fans, don't miss "Soothing Sounds For Baby."
posted by vronsky at 11:57 PM on March 9, 2007

To some extent, his seven piece "quintet" (the Singing In The Rain link) is what I do* for a living (as I did this evening) and someone had to go make an FPP about it. I don't even know where to start.

*By "do" what I mean is the interpretation of the "Great American Songbook." Ayup. I get played to make the best of standards with the available talent. Though my arrangements aren't that cool.
posted by sourwookie at 12:11 AM on March 10, 2007

Powerhouse is one of the finest film score moments in Hollywood history.
posted by GavinR at 3:34 AM on March 10, 2007

Not only did Raymond Scott inspire much of Raymond Scott's Looney Tunes scores, he was an electronic music pioneer as well. Respect.
posted by Scoo at 4:52 AM on March 10, 2007

Twilight in Turkey is one of my faves.
posted by mds35 at 4:52 AM on March 10, 2007

Whoops, just woke up, the fog obscured the digital music link.
posted by Scoo at 4:53 AM on March 10, 2007

If you're in or around Kansas City, go to the Marr Sound Archives at UMKC to check out the archives (discussed in the RealPlayer link). I don't think they're open on the weekends, in case you were wondering.

Another nice video was posted previously of his quintet doing War Dance for Wooden Indians. He was a really interesting individual and wrote wonderful music. As a bonus, here's an article that discusses Scott and other cartoon composers, including Carl Stalling.
posted by sleepy pete at 6:42 AM on March 10, 2007

always happy to see a Raymond Scott callout.
posted by Busithoth at 7:11 AM on March 10, 2007

This is a great post. Thank you.
posted by .kobayashi. at 7:49 AM on March 10, 2007

I'm a big fan.

1. Did you know that Scott had the first automated studio? It was done with relays and switches in the late 50's (I'm only approximate on the time) -- his friends made fun of him because if you stood behind the machinery, the sounds of the solenoids going off were louder than the music -- but of course it was the future of music.

He even did some early MIDI stuff before a stroke cut him down!

2. The Raymond Scott CD "Reckless Nights and Turkish Twilights" has a great stereographic picture of him on the back cover.

3. I think of him very much like Frank Zappa -- he wrote music that was almost too difficult for his very talented ensemble, cursed the need for human musicians, generated huge quantities of work. On the other hand, Scott did very well within the confines of the music industry. His jazz pieces became minor standards, he also made a ton of money on advertising, and then later he re-sold these songs to Warner Brothers for their Golden Age cartoons.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:11 AM on March 10, 2007

Reckless Nights and Turkish Twilights is the starting place for Raymond Scott.

As an alternative, or if you have a hangup about 1930s era recordings (although Scott's were some of the best), check out the modern recreations by The Beau Hunks Sextette -- they're outstanding.
posted by pmurray63 at 10:09 AM on March 10, 2007

Thanks for this post! And I second the The Beau Hunks Sextette and Soothing Sounds for Baby (which my son rocked out to as an infant. Screw the Baby Mozart.)
posted by maryh at 10:19 AM on March 10, 2007

I rediscovered him (first discovery was Sat. AM cartoons!) a few years ago. My band used his tunes as break music at parties and weddings we'd play. I'm a pro jazz musician and I'd say I never play a gig of any length without quoting something from Raymond Scott in a solo somewhere. My child- and adult-hood experiences of his music have permantently etched his stuff in my brain.
posted by nonmyopicdave at 11:05 AM on March 10, 2007

When the first Carl Stalling CD came out I bought it because I always loved the Warner Brothers cartoon music. But then I noticed that most of the reviews namechecked Raymond Scott, so I checked him out too, and have been a fan ever since. And then I realized that John Kricfalusi had been using a lot of Raymond Scott's music in Ren and Stimpy to great effect. And his stuff is always a pleasant surprise when it pops on shuffle on my MP3 player.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 11:10 AM on March 10, 2007

Why does it not surprise me that Chris Ware has done some artwork for a Raymond Scott record.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 11:13 AM on March 10, 2007

"the sounds of the solenoids going off were louder than the music"
I'd love to hear a recording of that.
posted by 2sheets at 12:27 PM on March 10, 2007

His name keeps popping up here.
posted by damn dirty ape at 5:04 PM on March 10, 2007

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