MoMM@Home: Don Lewis' Personal History of Synths and MIDI

Air Date: Thursday, August 20, 2020 @ 2:00 PM (Pacific)
  • HOW TO WATCH: Tune in to this page at the start time of the event. The episode will be shown here and on the Museum's YouTube and Facebook pages.
  • LIVE CHAT: Each episode features a live moderated chat. To participate, tune in to this episode on our YouTube channel when the episode is live.
  • Description

    EVENT UPDATE! Due to rolling power outages in their region, we've had to reschedule today's MoMM@Home episode with Don & Julie Lewis. The new date for the episode will be Thursday, August 20, 2020 at 2PM. We'll be updating our social media channels and website accordingly.


    Engineer, Multi-Instrumentalist, and Vocalist Don Lewis shares his amazing perspective on the history of the early and modern synthesizer and development of MIDI.

    In the 1970s and 1980s, Don Lewis gained status throughout the San Francisco live music scene while performing with a revolutionary instrument of his own design – LEO (Live Electronic Orchestra) an innovative cohesion of synthesizers and sound modules developed 10 years before the MIDI standard.

    In addition to performing, Don worked as a sound designer/musician for the likes of Michael JacksonQuincy Jones and the Beach Boys. 

    In the 1980s, Lewis' career as a full time musician was put on hold. His use and advancement of music technology was misinterpreted as a threat to unionized musicians and some of its members began protesting his performances as a result.

    Don concentrated on an alternative career path, utilizing his skills as a concert artist and voicing programmer for Yamaha and Roland: eventually contributing to the success of such groundbreaking music products as the Yamaha DX-7 synthesizer and the Roland TR-808 drum machine

    For seated events that take place at the Museum, the venue is divided into two seating areas: Premium and General. Premium Seating comprises the first several rows of seats for guests who wish to sit closer to the stage. General Seating completes the remaining available space. Seating capacity for the venue is limited to 150 guests.

    For seated events at the Museum, the seating format is open seating (first-come, first-served) within each designated seating area unless otherwise specified. Reserved seating is available as a benefit through the Museum's Listening & Visionary Track Membership programs.

    Will call check-in typically begins one hour before the start of an event. Seating begins roughly one half-hour before the event start time.

    No outside food or beverage is allowed in the Concert Venue or in the Museum Galleries.

    If you have any accessibility concerns or requirements, please contact our staff at (760) 304-5844 with seating requests or accommodation questions.

    Most (but not all) concert events will have a brief intermission. During this time, the Museum Galleries and Gift Shop will be open for guests to visit.

    The Museum does not maintain a wait list for sold out events, and we cannot guarantee that a seat will open up after an event has sold out. We recommend purchasing tickets well in advance to ensure you have a seat for a particular event. Subscribe to our eMail list to stay informed about upcoming concerts!

    All ticket sales are final. If you cannot use a ticket for an upcoming event, please consider donating your ticket back to the Museum of Making Music. Tickets may be transferred to another guest or donated back to the museum anytime up to 24 hours in advance of an event by calling (760) 304-5844. Tickets cannot be donated back to the museum after an event has already begun or has passed.

    Listening to sounds at an excessive volume over prolonged periods of time can damage hearing. Though the Museum attempts to maintain control over concert volume levels, there are instances when performances can achieve high volume levels. The Museum makes hearing protection available in the form of complimentary foam ear plugs. These can be obtained at any time upon request.