Isao Tomita's Electronic Music: Is He Still Composing?

I waslistening to an old CD of Tomita’s (“SNOWFLAKESARE DANCING”)-this wascomposed ca 1970. It is very old electronic music, being done with oscillators and amplifiers. It is still amazing-his imitations of human voices are quite thrilling.
Anyway, How didhe do this-did he manulally adjust an audio oscillator, and combine multiple tracks to come up with his orchestral-type renditions?
Is he still composing?

Apparently. That is, he had some new stuff come out in 2002 (after basically taking the '90’s off). He turns 72 this year.

Tomita used several types of analogue synthesisers. Notably, the Roland System 700 and some Moog like the 3p and the Synthesizer 35. Here’s a photo of him in his studio. I believe the record notes lists the equipment.

These are modular synths. Such synths are made up of several modules that perform a given task: oscillators produce simple sounds, filters and amplifiers modify those sounds and sequencers and envelope generators produce control signals. Although these synths came with a set number of modules, you could add more of them to customise your setup.

Most of these modules are voltage-controled. What this means is that you can automate them using the output from other modules. And here lies the beauty of it. You can connect your modules (using patch cords) in any which way you want to create all sorts of different sounds. You can use an oscillator to control the pitch of another oscillator, for instance.

If you’ve got a large enough setup and are a skilled sound designer (like Tomita) you can get quite a large palette of sound out of a single modular synth. Check out Morton Subotnik’s Wild Bull, which was created on a single synth.

The work flow for recording analogue synth music is something like this:
-Connect modules to create a synth “patch”
-Said patch may be completely automated or may be performed by playing the keyboard controller and/or potentiometers (knobs).
-Record your performance on multi-track tape.
-If need be, create another patch and layer new performance on top of the previous.