Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center [CPEMC]
- Marc Battier
The Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center was the most important electronic music studio in the United States for several decades after its founding in 1959. Its roots can be traced to the work of composers Otto Luening and Vladimir Ussachevsky at Columbia University. In 1955 they traveled to Europe on a Rockefeller Foundation Grant to meet like-minded composers who had set up studios in Europe. After seeing the Rca electronic music synthesizer at the Sarnoff Center of the RCA Laboratories in New Jersey, Luening and Ussachevsky turned once again to the Rockefeller Foundation. Their initial idea was to set up a council with other universities to create a pilot project in electronic music; instead, they came to an agreement with Princeton University, where Milton Babbitt showed an interest in such electronic possibilities. The Rockefeller Foundation awarded a $175,000 grant in November 1958 to be used by Columbia and Princeton to set up a common studio, hire technicians and office staff, and purchase studio and concert equipment. Grant support helped pave the way to obtain the RCA synthesizer, which was installed in ...