My writings about 20th century music will mainly focus on those who’ve sought to invent one’s own technologies, to forge a new method of creation, and in so doing, provide a model for modern DIY folks. There’s something monomaniacal and brilliant about this kind of vertical integration — a human composes work on an instrument that he himself has created.
To start with: Les Paul. American ingenuity at its finest. Invented tape echo and multi-track recording out of his garage and then topped the charts with insane, inimitable multi-tracked vocals and guitars. Did I mention he invented the hollow body electric guitar? Hell of a player too. His work is really great combination of engineering and artistry.