Factory Sealed (New)
Morton Subotnick – Silver Apples Of The Moon for electronic music synthesizer
Made in Germany. Karlrecords – KR014.
Limited Edition of 500 items on 180gr. vinyl incl. download code.
Prior to its release, Subotnick played Silver Apples of the Moon at the opening night of the famous New York nightclub Electric Circus in June 1967, where the composition was enhanced by the usage of strobe lights. Those who attended included conductor Seiji Ozawa, writer Tom Wolfe and several of the Kennedy family. The attendants danced to the music, which dumbfounded Subotnick, but he was pleased they enjoyed the "pulse" of the music. He later recalled: "I mean, I knew it had a beat, but I'd never heard of people dancing to that." Robert Barry of The Quietus believes that, with this, "Subotnick might just have been the first person to get a club full of people [...] dancing to purely electronic music."
Upon its release in July 1967, Silver Apples of the Moon was a surprise hit for Nonesuch, becoming one of the best-selling records in the classical category, and also selling respectably for an experimental album. The record also became an underground hit, and was described by Alfred Hickling of the Guardian as swiftly becoming "an essential psychedelic soundtrack," although Subotnick said he did not take drugs during the production of the album. For developing upon the possibilities of voltage-based synthesizers in performance and recording, Silver Apples also received international attention. Subotnick felt thought the album's innovative electronic sounds were part of the record's success. The album also received critical acclaim. In a contemporary review, Ted Dockstader of Electronic Music Review described Silver Apples of the Moon as a "beautiful record" that "seems to glitter with precision."
Fellow electronic musician Wendy Carlos, one of the pioneers of the Moog synthesiser, also reviewed the album for Electronic Music Review. Although she hailed Subotnick as a "very talented" composer and felt the album to be among the prettiest electronic works, she nonetheless felt it was a "bore" and complained that the album was too long "for a single electronic composition of this style and type." She also derided what she felt were inexpressive phrasings and articulations, feeling that "they either sound inflexible and mechanical, or aleatoric and unimportant." Although Silver Apples of the Moon pre-dated recordings containing the Moog by about a year, it was soon overshadowed by the popularity of Carlos' own album Switched-On Bach (1968), which featured classical compositions played on the Moog and became one of the biggest-selling classical albums ever. Subotnick was unimpressed with Carlos' album. He recalled: "I could never see the point in playing old music on a new invention. If I'm going to play Bach, I'd rather use a harpsichord." The popularity of the Moog itself, which featured a keyboard unlike the Buchla, rendered the Buchla 100 a niche instrument for academic composers, despite the acclaim that Silver Apples received.
The original tapes of Silver Apples and its follow-up The Wild Bull (1968) were digitally remastered and re-released by WERGO in 1993. In a review of the remastered edition, Blair Anderson of AllMusic praised side one of the album, commenting on its "fascinating vocabulary" and writing that interest is sustained by the variety of gestures and tones. He nonetheless felt the second side was weaker, as it consisted of "rather predictable sequences over a steady ostinato”. Musician Julian Cope, also a musicologist, wrote in a retrospective review that the album reflected Subotnick's interest in both technology and music, and described it as an "unsung" release.