Synthesizers: Sound of the Future
Gate 13, Royal Parade
Image: Portable analogue synthesizer EMS VCS3, designed in 1969, at the Melbourne Electronic Sound Studio. Melbourne Electronic Sound Studio (MESS) Collection. Photographer: Amber Haines
Presented by Grainger Museum and Melbourne Electronic Sound Studio
Today’s musical hackers, sound artists and digital musicians who patch and share and experiment with sound are the direct beneficiaries of innovators in electronic sound in the second half of the twentieth century. The Grainger Museum was at the heart of musical experimentation in Melbourne in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when University of Melbourne composer and teacher Keith Humble, and composer and Grainger Museum Curator Ian Bonighton, ran a renegade electronic composition studio with early analog synthesizers, including the EMS Synthi 100.
The exhibition Synthesizers: Sound of the Future explores this Melbourne scene and, more broadly, the evolution of the commercially produced synthesizer by EMS (Electronic Music Studios Ltd, UK) in this period. The exhibition features key instruments on loan from the Melbourne Electronic Sound Studio (MESS) and the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences. Honouring Percy Grainger’s maverick creativity and the historical role of the Grainger Museum as an experimental music studio, this exhibition project will run in two modes, an exhibition display and an “open studio”, and will incorporate performances conducted in association with Composition and Interactive Composition programs in the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music, and experimental sound organisation Liquid Architecture.