Imagination and Innovation: The World of Raymond Scott

Aired Friday November 16 2012
WZBC 90.3 FM
Boston College
7-10 p.m. EST

Hosted and Produced by Brian Carpenter
Co-hosted by Jeff Winner, Irwin Chusid, and Tom Rhea
Artwork by Drew Friedman
Special Guests: Brian Dewan, Will Friedwald, Daniel Goldmark, David Harrington, DJ Spooky, and J.G. Thirlwell.


A three-hour retrospective on the incredible career of composer, bandleader, pianist, engineer, and electronic music pioneer Raymond Scott. This year is the 75th anniversary of the debut of the Raymond Scott Quintette in 1937. The first half of the program will cover Raymond Scott's early biography and imaginative compositional work for small group format and big band. The second half of the program will cover his work as an early pioneer in electronic music. Includes many rare and unreleased recordings plus interviews with special guests.


Brian Carpenter is a songwriter, composer, bandleader, and producer based in Boston. He has produced several radio programs, including The Sound of Horror: Sound Design in Science-Fiction and Horror Films, now used in classrooms around the world to study film sound. His large enesmble the Ghost Train Orchestra released their second album Book of Rhapsodies in 2013, a work of re-imaginings of chamber jazz miniatures from the late 1930s by Raymond Scott, Alec Wilder, Reginald Foresythe, and Charlie Shavers.

Jeff Winner is a music and film producer, researcher, and historian. Since 1995, Winner has been a curator of The Raymond Scott Archives. His projects include the acclaimed Manhattan Research, Inc book/2-CD set detailing Scott's pioneering electronic music and inventions, Microphone Music, and the award-winning documentary film Deconstructing Dad.

Irwin Chusid is a journalist, music historian, radio personality, and self-described "landmark preservationist." His stated mission has been to "find things on the scrap heap of history that I know don't belong there and salvage them." Those "things" have included such previously overlooked but now-celebrated icons as composer/bandleader/electronic music pioneer Raymond Scott, Space Age Pop avatar Esquivel, illustrator/fine artist Jim Flora, various outsider musicians, and The Langley Schools Music Project.

Tom Rhea is a composer, author, professor, and one of the world's leading authorities on electroacoustic music. He worked with Raymond Scott in the early 1970s and was a first-hand observer of Scott's Electronium prototype as head of the Nashville division of Scott's Manhattan Research, Inc. He pioneered the introduction of synthesizers internationally as a Moog synthesizer clinician and functional design consultant. He is a PhD and Associate Professor at the Department of Electronic Production and Design at Berklee College of Music. 


Brian Dewan is a multi-media artist who produces music, illustrations, musical instruments, and audio-visual performances. He has released three albums of songs as a solo artist. He is a member of the Raymond Scott Orchestrette, a group dedicated to reinterpreting Scott's compositions.

Will Friedwald is an American author and music critic. He has written for the Wall Street Journal, Variety, The New York Times, and The Village Voice. His books include Jazz Singing: America's Great Voices from Bessie Smith to Bebop and BeyondSinatra! The Song is You: A Singer's ArtStardust Melodies: the Biography of Twelve of America's Most Popular Songs and Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies: An Illustrated Guide to the Warner Bros. Cartoons. With Irwin Chusid, he helped produce the first CD of Raymond Scott's music.

Daniel Goldmark is a professor and the Director of the Center for Popular Music Studies  at Case Western University. He has written and edited several books and articles on cartoon music, including the The Cartoon Music Book (A Cappella, 2001) and his monograph Tunes for ‘Toons: Music and the Hollywood Cartoon, published in 2005. 

David Harrington is a violinist and the founder of the Kronos Quartet, a string quartet in existence for over 40 years and specializing in new and contemporary music, with more than 750 works commissioned for the group. Kronos Quartet recorded Scott's "Dinner Music for a Pack of Hungry Cannibals" in 1993.

Paul Miller a.k.a. DJ Spooky is a composer, multimedia artist, editor and author. He is the executive editor of Origin Magazine and has written several books, including The Book of Ice (2011)a graphic design project exploring the impact of climate change on Antarctica through the prism of digital media and contemporary music compositions.

J.G. Thirlwell is an Australian singer, composer, and record producer based in New York City. He is known for juxtaposing a variety of different musical styles. He is the composer and singer behind Foetus and leads the experimental small ensemble Manorexia and the instrumental big band Steroid Maximus, for which he famously reinterpreted Scott's piece "Powerhouse."


Download the entire documentary on iTunes.

Part 1: Introduction and Rediscovery by Irwin Chusid


Part 2: Biography and Raymond Scott Quintette (1908-1939)


Part 3: Music for Big Band and Orchestra (1940-1944) 


Part 4: Your Hit Parade and the 2nd Quintet (1948-1959) 


Part 5: Cartoons (1942-1955)


Part 6: Manhattan Research, Inc. (1950-1969)