RIP Malcolm Cecil, co-creator of legendary TONTO synth and producer for Stevie Wonder & more
Malcolm Cecil, the synthesizer pioneer and record producer, has died at age 84 after a long illness. He was 84.
With Robert Margouleff, Cecil created legendary modular synthesizer TONTO (The Original New Timbral Orchestra), which was the first attempt to create a universal language for synthesizers to communicate with each other. As the TONTO's Expanding Head Band, Cecil and Margouleff released two albums, including their landmark 1971 debut Zero Time which had musicians around the world wanting to work with them. Among them: Stevie Wonder who worked with them on some of his most acclaimed albums, including Innervisions, for which the duo won a Grammy.
Cecil also worked on records by Harry Nilsson, Minnie Riperton, Gil Scott-Heron, The Doobie Brothers, Joan Baez, Stephen Stills, Randy Newman, The Isley Brothers, and more. He played Brooklyn in 2018 as part of the Ambient Church series.
TONTO is still in operation and is now housed at Calgary, AB's Studio Bell at the National Music Centre. You can watch a short film the NMC released last year about TONTO that features interviews with Malcolm Cecil.