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.

     

    https://youtu.be/jDXp5_4FREA

    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