I’m totally bemused by the recent postings on other sites about Eurorack being an overinflated ‘bubble’, about to burst.
I couldn’t disagree more.
I feel as though we are at a nascent point in it’s history, that a new musical landscape has been forged by Eurorack, and we have only just recently reached the tipping point of where beautiful new music is being created because of it. It’s almost as if a new instrument has been developed, and the music being made would not have existed using the other forms of electronic music available.
I know that Modular Synthesis has been around since the 60’s, but as the story goes, Bob Moog won that argument, and so the musical path went down the ‘East-Coast’, ‘keyboard-led’ direction to where we are today, and the genres we most associate with electronic music. However, the ‘West Coast’ route largely went untravelled, and it is only now with this new resurgence in Modular, that we have been able to explore that less-travelled road. And in particular, it is only recently that companies have started to achieve their goal of creating complete ‘Systems’ within Modular; or as I see it, complete (and completely new) instruments have been created. The best example for me is the Make Noise Shared System, but Verbos’ would be another example, and the Mannequins modules another, the last of which were perfectly demonstrated by Nathan Moody in his recent Blue & Reds Box Etudes album - the soundscapes are unique to those modules, and the style of the music played is unique to playing a Modular Synthesizer. So the musical style simply would not exist with out these new ‘instruments’ having come into existence.
Caterina Barbieri’s ‘Patterns Of consciousness’ album is another example of a very innovative and forward-thinking musical piece, that is very much a product of her Modular Synthesiser ‘instrument’, and which sounds thrillingly archetypical; a flag planted in this new Modular soundscape, for others to follow.
I realise that the Buchla was the genesis of this, but my point is that it is only now that we are finally bearing the fruits of that initial ‘big bang’; with the affordability and availability of Eurorack, and with enough interesting and creative modules available, and with the internet on hand as an egalitarian teaching resource, it all adds up to a new musical landscape that has just been opened up to us.
I, for one, feel hugely inspired and excited by this (so much so that I had to write a post about it!). Whether or not I’m able to contribute to it in any meaningful way is another question, but I love the fact that I’m part of the initial search party, setting out to explore this relatively unchartered landscape, and share the new discoveries as they happen.
Who’s with me!