Film: I Dream of Wires – the Story of Modular Synthesis

The debut project of Toronto based production company Waveshaper Media. I Dream of Wires traces the history of the modular synthesis from its birth in the competing designs of Moog and Buchla, through its nadir in the digital age and up to the current Eurorack- led resurgence.

The story is told through fascinating interviews, from pioneers such as Morton Subotnick and Ramon Sender; eighties masters Gary Numan and Vince Clark; and current practitioners Orphyx and Trent Reznor.

Beginning with the very different philosophies of East and West Coast synthesis and looking at the reasons behind the Moog systems eventual ascendancy. The first half of the Film gives a concise overview for the uninitiated and contains plenty of insights for even the most ardent synth-head.

Created by Filmmaker Robert Fantinatto and Electronic musician Jason Amm; I Dream of Wires is part documentary and part homage to Analogue. And nowhere is this more evident than in the treatment they reserve for the likes of Yamaha’s DX7 and the age of the preset.

The scrapping of modular systems that occurred in the 1980s will bring a tear to the eye of many an Analogue aficionado, as will the prices that many units went for in these barren years. It is interesting, however, that is now the glassy sounds of FM synthesis, once heralded as the future, that seem outdated.

Taking Acid House as the birth of the resurgence, the final half of the Film is a journey through the world of the Modular hobbyist and the interesting place that hardware synthesis holds alongside the unlimited potentials of software emulation.

Much of the renewed interest in modular systems provides an interesting snapshot of a larger cultural resistance to our current corporatised digital age. With so many Euorack units manufactured by independent companies or sole traders and the open source nature of Doepfer’s system.

The passion of Fantinatto and Amm is clear in the Films conclusion too; painting as it does a bright future for Modular synthesis after so many years in the wilderness.

Stream I Dream of Wires online at Boiler-room TV and check out the home of Waveshaper Media for more projects on the subject of Electronic music.

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