Saturday, 21 July 2012

Doris Norton

Italian producer. She is the wife of Antonio Bartoccetti and mother of Anthony Bartoccetti alias Rexanthony.
During the 80s she was sponsored by Apple Computer, and made a music program for IBM USA.
Doris Norton (pioneer in the early electronic/computer music) began her musical carrer playing avant-garde and progressive music using synthesizers such as Roland System 700, Roland system 100M and Minimoog. In december 1980 she recorded, at the Fontana Studio 7 (Milan), her first solo album entitled "Under Ground" (Musik Research). Sponsored by Apple computer and the Roland Corporation music instruments, she was more involved in experimental electro computerized music and recorded the albums "Parapsycho" (1981), "Raptus" (1981, Durium), "Nortoncomputerforpeace" (1983), "Personal Computer" (1984), "Artificial Intellingence" (1985).

Generally considered to be the Italian equivalent of Klaus Schulze in terms of her contribution to the development of early electronic music, Norton has worked with various high-profile artists, labels and electronic companies over the years to produce some of the most inventive and experimental music even by today's standards. Norton initially started out in the field of avant-garde and progressive music before, like many other artists around the time, discovering the first wave of analogue synths. 'Raptus' was recorded in 1981 at a very prolific period for Norton that saw her not only forge her own unique electronic style but find herself working as a musical consultant for both Apple and IBM. Generally regarded to be one of her finest releases, 'Raptus' is an assault on the senses with analogue synths and arpeggios flying about like nobody's business. It certainly has a lot in common with the Italo-disco movement and that primitive use of arpeggio rhythms coupled with live beats is as intoxicating now as it would have been at the time.

I don’t know much about Doris Norton, even her official biography is quite terse. I’ve been able to listen to only one LP of hers – which I’ve discovered quite by accident: Personal Computer… but I’m sold.
IMHO this is one of those innovative yet fairly unknown albums of that period. One can even recognize the premises of the IDM genre (as we know today) from one track to another. The LP’s been released in 1984.

Long before U2 sold iPods, Apple’s first music “endorsement” was what you might have expected from a young computer company started by a couple of hackers: Doris Norton, an Italian-born musician-turned-producer whose pioneering compositions in avant-garde and progressive music were abetted by synthesizers like the Roland System 700, Roland system 100M and the Minimoog. Her first solo album, titled, “Under Ground," and released on the Musik Research label, came emblazoned with an Apple logo on the front. Six years later, she would become a music consultant for IBM.
Sometimes it’s hard to remember that large technology companies were once just tiny startups stacked with nerds genuinely interested in electronic music and engineering. But this is all really just an excuse to share a few of Norton’s magnificent songs, in all their 8-bit glory.

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