Modulations is a feature-length documentary that captures a moment in history where humans and machines are fusing to create today’s most exciting sounds.
It traces the evolution of electronic music as one of the most profound artistic developments of the twentieth century. By cutting back and forth between avant-garde composers, Kraftwerk’s innovative synthesizer drones, Giorgio Moroder’s glacial Euro-disco, Afrika Bambaataa’s electro-funk, and Prodigy’s current worldwide superstarstardom, Modulations celebrates, replicates, and illuminates the nomadic drift of the post-human techno sound.
The film examines the kids who have turned the turntable into a musical instrument, disillusioned disco lovers who created acid house out of primitive synthesizers, Motor City mavericks who saw the drum machine as their escape route out of urban neglect, and a generation of British youth who transformed these blips and bleeps into dance floor anthems of their own alienation.
Modulations provides a sense of history and context in which today’s electronic music can be understood. It entertains the converted and remixes the mindset of electronica’s nay-sayers.
Classic 2004 American documentary film by Hans Fjellestad about electronic instrument pioneer Robert Moog. Nice production and well worth a gander if you missed it the first time around.
Excellent 3-part documentary on one of my favourite musicians of modern times, Laurie Speigel
Fourth in the IMA Portraits series, this short introduces us to the life and work of electronic/contemporary composer Eliane Radigue. Radigue discusses methods of composition, the challenges and difficulties of live electronic music, as well as biographical episodes with Pierre Henry and her own goals in soundscape production and consumption. A lucid portrait of a dream manufacturer.
Synth East: Electronic Sound X NAC present
Subotnick film screening
Followed by Adam Buxton in conversation with Steve Davis
+ performance by Luke Sanger (BAR)
The all new Friday evening Synth East event is curated by Electronic Sound Magazine and the Norwich Arts Centre and kicks off with (possibly) the UK premiere of a documentary on musician Morton Subotnick, who at 90 years old, is known affectionately as the Father of Techno. It’s called Subotnick, Portrait of an Electronic Music Pioneer by Waveshaper Media who brought us the intoxicating 2014 documentary, I Dream of Wires.
Following the film we have writer, broadcaster, comedian and musician Adam Buxton chatting with Synth East alumni Steve Davis about music, life and modular synths. Finishing off the evening we have an ambient set from modular musician Luke Sanger as we relax into some beers in preparation for what’s to come for the rest of the weekend.
Tickets available now from NAC
A portrait by Mika Taanila of one of the unsung pioneers of early electronic art, Finnish scientist and artist Erkki Kurenniemi.