In his 2011 James Baldwin Lecture for the Center for African American Studies at Princeton, Paul Lansky quipped that his career had been spent “trying to make dumb computers sing.” He has succeeded in not just that, but also in defining an entire generation of composition. Most often he has made machines sing familiar songs: American folk tunes (on the album Folk Images,1995), blues harmonica (Guy’s Harp, 1984) and guitar riffs ( Blue Wine, on Folk Images), rap dialogues (Idle Chatter, 1985), conversations with his wife (Smalltalk, 1990), and the cacophony of his kids clearing the dinner table (Table’s Clear,1990). Throughout his forty years writing computer music (along with the necessary software to create it) Lansky has never foresworn the human element. His pieces “create a nostalgic ache in that they almost capture events which are, in reality, gone forever," as the composer himself explains. The computer serves as but a microscope, a tool to examine—and ultimately to celebrate—the essential flesh and blood of music as of life.