- Roger Powell (musician)
Roger Powell was a member of the rock band Utopia, led by
Todd Rundgrenand featuring players Kasim Sultonand Willie Wilcox, among others. Powell played keyboardsand synthesizers for the band from 1974 until its disbanding in 1985, playing, writing, and singing on ten of the band's eleven albums. For its live shows, Powell created the "Powell Probe"; the first remote, hand-held polyphonicsynthesizer controller, which featured a custom-made shell used to access a complex stack of sequencers and other peripherals offstage. He was also the protege of Robert Moog(who created the Moog synthesizer), the composer and player of several solo albums, a touring musician with David Bowieand others, and an author who wrote a Keyboard Magazinecolumn on synthesizer technique.
A talented computer programmer, Powell also developed one of the first PC
MIDIsequencers, "Texture". Originally developed for the Apple II, Texture allowed the user to manipulate patterns of notes and store them on disk. Much of Powell's computer work pre-dated MIDI. He gave the first performance on an all digital synthesizer while working with Hal Alles and Gregory Sims at Bell Laboratories. Powell's talents led eventually him to positions with WaveFrame (an "audio mainframe" synthesizer used by Peter Gabriel), Silicon Graphicsand Alias/Wavefront.
He currently works for
Apple Computeras a senior programmer and technical lead for audio within Apple Pro Applications. He occasionally performs with Bay Area folk musician and friend David Elias, plus other local, roots musicians. Informal live performances have been hosted and recorded at the San Gregorio General Store.
In 2006, after a long absence from music recording, Roger released "Fossil Poets" with musicians
Gary Taninand [http://www.gregkoch.com Greg Koch] . The music is described as retro-future.
* Cosmic Furnace (Atlantic, 1973 - CD reissue on Wounded Bird, 2005)
* Air Pocket (Bearsville, 1980 - CD reissue w/bonus track on Wounded Bird, 2006)
* Fossil Poets (Inner Knot, 2006 Digipak CD)
* Fossil Poets (Inner Knot, 2007 Ltd. Ed. clear blue vinyl LP)
* [http://www.myspace.com/fossilpoets Fossil Poets on MySpace]
* [http://www.fossilpoets.com Fossil Poets official website]
* [http://www.rogerpowell.com Roger Powell official website]
* [http://www.blogtalkradio.com/runt/2007/11/08/Special-guest-Roger-Powell Roger Powell radio interview on Rundgren Radio]
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