Bruce Haack / May 4, 1931 - Sept 26, 1988

The Canadian electronic music pioneer and instrument-builder/inventor Bruce Haack has a birthday today. An inspired creative person, the man participated in a wide array of projects. Early on he played jazz & Ukrainian folk music, participated in authentic pow-wows, hosted a radio show and got into tape & electro-acoustic music in the '50s. He also worked as a pop songwriter for the Dot & Coral labels, as well as composed for dance & theater.

He built several musical toys including synths, samplers, a vocoder and music-playing robots that could perform in concert. He made several high-concept children's records, recorded electronic Xmas songs and utilized his imagination to contribute commercial jingles. He also composed a piece for solo piano that was performed at Carnegie Hall in '62.

In '63 he composed "Garden of Delights", a piece for Gregorian chants and electronic music which has never been released. His Electric Lucifer (1970) was a psychedelic concept album about Heaven & Hell at war with each other. He appeared as a novelty act on several TV shows (such as The Tonight Show & Mr Rogers) and toward the end of his life cut a hiphop record in '82 ("Party Machine") with young Russell Simmons. Is that enough crazy activity for ya?

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