Edwin Armstrong Overture

by robert (o) iolini

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Edwin Armstrong was the inventor of the frequency modulation (FM) system, the basis for almost all radio, radar, and television reception. His story is one of genius, obsession, betrayal and tragedy.

After inventing FM, Armstrong had a vision of replacing the then inferior AM system with the far superior FM. Unfortunately, the Radio Corporation of America (RCA), under the advice of David Sarnoff—a old friend of Armstrong's and president of RCA—had other plans.

Even though they had funded Armstrong's research, RCA decided it would be unprofitable for them to switch from AM to FM. And so began the endless legal battles over patents, between Armstrong and RCA. Even when RCA developed television, which relied on FM for its reception and transmission, they refused to pay Armstrong his rightful royalties.

Twenty-three years to the day after patenting FM, exhausted, out of hope, and frustrated by all the litigation, Armstrong put on his hat, coat, scarf and gloves and walked out of his apartment window and 13 floors to his death.

Australian composer, Robert Iolini, pays homage to the oft-forgotten man who gave the world the clarity and depth of FM radio, employing a piano and a short wave radio. A short version appears on the solo album IOLINI. The full version was released on the limited edition Listening Room album, Double Exposure. The version on Bandcamp is the complete one. The Edwin Armstrong Overture was commissioned by the ABC and originally aired on The Listening Room in 1996.

Double exposure / The Listening Room (1997, ABC Music)


released November 8, 2018
Composer & Producer - Robert Iolini
ABC Producer - Russell Stapleton
ABC Sound Engineer - Phillip Ulman


all rights reserved



robert (o) iolini

||| Internationally recognised composer...
||| Two solo albums released on British avant-garde music label ReR Megacorp...
||| Style apparently follows function...
||| Chamber ensembles, Outsider theatre, Large-scale works for radio, audio-drama.

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