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TONTO Synthesizer Innovator Malcolm Cecil Dies at 84

Jack Hertz

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The man behind The Original New Timbral Orchestra (TONTO), Malcolm Cecil, has passed away at age 84. The London, England born artist, producer and engineer is best known for his work with Stevie Wonder using the massive and visually stunning TONTO that he developed with Robert Margouleff in 1968. TONTO was one of the first electronic music orchestras made entirely of commercial synthesizers that paved the way for the synthesizers' use in popular music.  TONTO would go on to work with other artists such as Mark Mothersbaugh, Nine Inch Nails, Quincy Jones, Bobby Womack, The Isley Brothers, Billy Preston, Gil Scott-Heron, Pete Bardens, Weather Report, Stephen Stills, The Doobie Brothers, Dave Mason, Little Feat, Joan Baez and Steve Hillage.



Malcolm Cecil remained active through out this life. In recent years he supervised the restoration of TONOTO with the relocation of it to it current home in the National Music Centre in Calgary, Canada. Malcolm Cecil continued to compose, perform, and tour as recently as 2020. 


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  • Jack Hertz changed the title to TONTO Synthesizer Innovator Malcolm Cecil Dies at 84

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