Bloop Bloop BLEEEEEEP—this is me paging all you synth geeks out there! Yes, paging, because the past is the future, am I right? The modular synth, for example, is an instrument of the past that’s shaping the sound of the future. Though first created in 1963, modular synths stepped out of the spotlight when the easier-to-use digital synths emerged. But now these bad boys are coming back in a huge way, because—let’s face it—there is something superior (and sexy) about using analog instruments.
The modular synthesizer is a complicated little machine, with patch chords and modules and whatnot. You may know of Robert Moog, who invented the Moog synthesizer, but the lesser known innovator, Don Buchla, is to praise for the revolutionary Buchla 200 series Electric Music Box. The Buchla 200 was a short-lived instrument, available on the market for only 15 years (1970-1985). However, with the renascence of analog synthesizers, Buchla and Associates put out the revamped Buchla 200e just a few years ago.
Morton Subotnick with the Buchla synth
This summer, Harvestworks, ((audience)), and River to River are throwing a festival dedicated to Buchla synths. Source of Uncertainty: Music for the Buchla Synthesizer will be held on two dates—June 28th and July 7th—with free concerts and a modular synth faire inspired by the Buchla 200e. The festival invites all types of synthusiasts to enjoy music created with the Buchla and at the faire, attendees can tinker with DIY modules (we know how much you like to touch big knobs).
If you’re like me and don’t know much about modular synths, you can stick around to see musicians use them instead during the concert part of the festival. Check out the amazing lineup below, which includes a local synth duo favorite, Xeno & Oaklander, as well as the legendary electronic music pioneer Morton Subotnick, who will be premiering a new piece:
Thurs June 28th // South Street Seaport // 210 Front Street NYC
Control Voltage Faire
Buchla Recital ft Alessandro Cortini, Carlos Giffoni, Mark Verbos
Late concert ft Xeno & Oaklander and Loud Objects
Richard Lainhart tape piece
Morton Subotnick premieres "Energy Shapes"
But in order to make all this analog awesomeness happen, they need YOUR HELP! Go here to watch a short video that will tell you more about the festival and to donate to the fundraiser, which ends June 1st. Proceeds go to artist funding, equipment, transportation, etc.
See you there, synth geeks!