50 years ago:
The WORLD’s first computer music player was completed in Finland 21 January 1971. The machine was developed by inventor Erkki Kurrenniemi with the help of a Sitra grant.
The music machine Dimi is a leading invention in its field, it will also be marketed abroad
The sound of the computer player resembles the sound of an electric organ. It can be used e.g. as an aid to pop and film music. The player is capable of composing electronic music.
Kurrenniemi said that the machine has already been used to make a sound record based on e.g. Bach’s music.
The Finnish computer invention is the size of a suitcase and weighs more than ten kilos.
Years before the Minimoog appeared, a Finnish visionary was already building digital polyphonic synthesizers — and they were controlled by light, skin conductivity and even brainwaves.
Erkki Kurenniemi could have changed the course of music history if he’d spent more time perfecting and selling his inventions, and less time looking at women and preserving used bus tickets for posterity. Kurenniemi completed a polyphonic synthesizer with digital sequencer in 1968, and a fully computer-controlled synthesizer in 1973 — and the ideas behind his user interfaces were even more innovative.
YLE has some video material on Dimi at https://yle.fi/aihe/artikkeli/2008/03/18/dimi-suomalainen-syntetisaattori