From under the bed and down from the attic: Synthesizers reclaimed

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Grainger Museum
Gate 13, Royal Parade


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Grainger Museum

T: 0383445270


Robin Fox, media artist and founding Co-Director of the Melbourne Electronic Sound Studio, talks about his personal connection to the re-discovery and re-animation of the EMS synthesizers in the exhibition Synthesizers: Sound of the Future. Robin’s stepfather, Jim Sosnin, was audio technician for Keith Humble at the Grainger Museum in the 1970s. Jim assisted with setting up the Grainger Electronic Music Studio, including the installation of the EMS Synthi 100 in 1973. Most of the EMS synthesizers left the Grainger Museum with Keith Humble when Humble went to La Trobe University to establish the Music Department in 1974.

When the La Trobe University Music Department closed in 1999, the smaller synthesizers disappeared from public view, going into the safe-keeping of Jim Sosnin. These dusty ‘science-fiction’ machines were re-discovered a few years ago by Robin in his step-father’s attic. These instruments, on display here, turned out to be highly significant. They are the earliest instruments made by the company EMS, Electronic Music Studios, in London. Their creation is inextricably linked with the co-development of Australian electronic music in the early 1970s.

Free event but bookings are essential through Eventbrite.

This public program is part of our latest exhibition Synthesizers: Sound of the Future running from 20 April 2018 until 9 September 2018.

Image Credit: EMS VCS1 c.1968-69, in the Optronics Unit built by Graham Thirkell, c. early 1970s. MESS Collection. Photography Amber Haines