From Deep Space to Deep Purple: Remembering ARP and Alan R. Pearlman

Services will be held on Wednesday, January 9 for the legendary engineer and inventor Alan R. Pearlman, founder of ARP Instruments and a giant in the world of early commercial synthesizers.

Pearlman died at the age of 93 after a long illness. News was revealed by his daughter, Dina Pearlman, on Facebook.

Alan R. Pearlman was engaged for five years working on amplifiers for NASA’s Gemini and Apollo progams prior to founding ARP Instruments. The name of the company (and then its products) came from Pearlman’s initials and reputedly his childhood nickname.

After the release of the ARP Odyssey, the name “ARP” itself would become shorthand for one of the primary colors in the palette of electronic music. The synthesizer was cheaper than the Minimoog and among the first synths that were truly portable and also reliable enough for live performance. Together with the earlier ARP 2600, Pearlman and his company built a tremendous legacy in the field of synthesis and electronic music.

“At 93, too weak to speak he still managed to play the piano this morning,” Dina Pearlman noted, “later passing away peacefully in the morning. He was a great man and contributed much to the world of music.”

Services will be held at 12:30pm at Temple Shalom in West Newton, Massachusetts.

Above is a tribute to Alan Pearlman by David Baron on the ARP 2500.