Roger Powell (musician)

Roger Powell (musician)

Roger Powell was a member of the rock band Utopia, led by Todd Rundgren and featuring players Kasim Sulton and Willie Wilcox, among others. Powell played keyboards and 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 polyphonic synthesizer 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 Bowie and others, and an author who wrote a Keyboard Magazine column on synthesizer technique.

A talented computer programmer, Powell also developed one of the first PC MIDI sequencers, "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 Graphics and Alias/Wavefront.

He currently works for Apple Computer as 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 Tanin and [ Greg Koch] . The music is described as retro-future.

olo discography

* 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)

External links

* [ Fossil Poets on MySpace]
* [ Fossil Poets official website]
* [ Roger Powell official website]
* [ Roger Powell radio interview on Rundgren Radio]

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