“Visionary” is an overused word, but is totally appropriate when talking about Tomita.
Tomita’s technique was pioneering but it was firmly in service to the music. He made unprecedented sonic and interpretive choices for his interpretations of particularly famous pieces of by 19th century greats– Mussogorsky, Ravel, Debussy, Stravinsky, Holt. He was a fascinating composer and helped grow the technology of synthesizers into a genre of music.
Some of his pieces are surprisingly hard to find in a shareable format, although it appears his catalog is for sale. There is only a single link for my favorite, Pictures at an Exhibition. It’s artistically rich. It was an utterly novel instrumentation of a classic, with really interesting interpretive choices.
Here’s quite a lot of awesome:
From the 1975 RCA Red Seal release, Tomita, Pictures at an Exhibition. Tomita’s pioneering electronic work from his Plasma Music made classical compositions seem out of the future — certainly laserium shows of the time seemed to think so. Tomita saw himself following Theremin and Martenot from the late 1920s in using 1970s analogue synthesizers…
Trent Reznor with a perfect remix of Peter Gabriel’s “Growing Up.”