Peter Baumann performing with Tangerine Dream, circa 1975. Courtesy of

(1953-)  Influential electronic music performer who was a member of Tangerine Dream during its influential 1970's period. Baumann was born and lived his youth years in West Berlin (at the time when the city was still partitioned in the aftermath of World War II), and performed in cover bands as a teenager. In 1971, he befriended Chris Franke, and Franke invited him to join Tangerine Dream. Baumann was on board for the albums Zeit, Atem, Phaedra, Rubycon, Ricochet, and Stratosfear, which are considered by most Tangerine Dream critics to be among the group's best work.

Tangerine Dream and solo career[edit | edit source]

While a member of TD, Baumann released his first solo album, Romance 76, which as the name suggests was released in 1976. He left the group the next year, releasing three additional solo albums between 1977 and 1983.  One notable contribution that Baumann made to the band was managing the commission and construction of their very large Projekt Elektronik modular synthesizer, and devising ways to use the synth in their compositions.  Baumann also had his Moog modulars extensively modified, in part to make them more playable on stage without the use of as many patch cords; this was done in part through voltage busses routed through the case that could be sent to an input via an array of switches.

The E-mu Audity[edit | edit source]

In 1978, Baumann commissioned E-mu Systems to build a set of programmable voice boards for a synthesizer that he was constructing. E-mu built a set of 16 such boards, plus a CPU board that controlled them, and shipped all this to Baumann. E-mu, which at the time was mostly a manufacturer of modular synthesizers, saw a business opportunity and decided to build a large, very capable polyphonic synth based on the hardware and software they had developed for Baumann, which became the Audity. The Audity turned out to be very expensive to build and E-mu achieved no orders, creating a financial panic for the company. Famously, this led them to develop the Emulator. So, in a sense, Baumann was the godfather of the Emulator.

Private Music[edit | edit source]

In 1984 Baumann founded a record label, Private Music, to cater to the then-growing New Age genre. Private Music wound up being one of the leading labels in that genre through the '80s, before its popularity began to wane around 1990. After that, the label turned towards a broader audience which took it away from electronic music. Baumann sold his interest in 1994, and BMG bought out the label in 1996.

Baumann Foundation[edit | edit source]

In 2009, Baumann relocated to San Francisco and founded the Baumann Foundation, an inter-disciplinary studies center. 

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