Raymond Scott, the musician, the visionary, the man, the father. This is Deconstructing Dad, a documentary about a genius of the 20th century.
[audio:Raymond Scott – cindy electronium (1959).mp3]The film, now finally available on dvd, tells the story of Scott’s life and career from a unique perspective, that of his only son, Stan Warnow.
The dvd cover introduces Raymond Scott saying: “You may not know his name but you know his music”. Definitely true. You’ve probably heard his tunes and melodies hundreds of times, in Warner Bros’ cartoons, cover songs, etc.
But his career, that began in the 1930s swing/big-band era, developed in a quite unique way, reaching extraordinary peaks in his experimental electronic music phase of the ’60s and ’70s, thanks to his self-built revolutionary instruments.
Raymond Scott | DECONSTRUCTING DAD TRAILER
The documentary film, which features interviews with Don Byron, Dj Spooky, Mark Mothersbaugh (now owner of one of the most incredibible Raymond Scott’s inventions, the Electronium), Hal Willner, Herb Deutsch (Moog co-inventor), etc. is a must for any music lover.
Deconstructing Dad is not just about music and technology though. As you may expect from the title, the film is also a personal quest to unravel the timeless fabric of love, connection and rejection that are a part of every parent child relationship, with the additional element of having a famous father obsessed with his work.
The dvd has no German distribution (yet?). It’s available through direct order ($24.95 + shipping).
If you’re new to all this and you’d like to know more about Raymond Scott’s music, I’d recommend checking his official website (and getting some of his albums, like Manhattan Research Inc. and the Soothing Sounds for Babies series).
Fab is a musician and Editor-in-Chief for AudioNewsRoom (ANR), a music technology online magazine.