Synthesizer legend, Stevie Wonder collaborator and inventor of TONTO – the world’s biggest synthesizer – Malcolm Cecil has died aged 84. Cecil was one-half of TONTO’s Expanding Head Band, which used Cecil and band member Robert Margouleff’s giant modular synth as its key instrument across two albums. His death was announced on the Bob Moog Foundation’s Twitter on Sunday, March 28th.
They caught the attention of a young Stevie Wonder who enlisted them to work on his groundbreaking albums Music Of My Mind, Talking Book, Innervisions and Fulfillingness’ First Finale. Cecil also worked alongside Gil Scott-Heron, The Isley Brothers, Quincy Jones and Bobby Womac and is considered a synth pioneer.
TONTO was eventually incorporated into the National Music Centre in Alberta, Canada, where it’s still used to this day. Watch a video of it in action below.