Philadelphia, PA (North America)


chit chat about things going on in Philly


hmm… maybe this should have been its own topic – anyhow, here’s something coming up that may be of interest:

A Synthetic Evening w/ David Hartt, Karl Fousek & Sam Prekop
Wednesday, 28 March 2018
Meyerson Hall
210 S 34th St
Philadelphia, PA

no admission charge
no tickets

Hartt’s film The Republic, 2014 will be performed by Sam Prekop and in the forest, 2017 will be performed by Karl Fousek. The screening will be followed by a conversation moderated by John Corbett.

The Republic is a film set in the speculative present. Shot in both Athens and Detroit, the footage is montaged so that the locations become indiscernible and a hybrid city-state emerges. Musician Sam Prekop composed the score and plays the role of the Engineer, both performing and tweaking the city’s parameters: how fast the traffic flows, how brightly the power grid burns.

The subject of in the forest is Moshe Safdie’s abandoned housing project Habitat Puerto Rico. Nearly fifty years after it was initiated, Hartt returns to the site. Featuring long takes of the weathered modules surrounded by the encroaching jungle, and environmental recordings layered with a composition by electronic musician Karl Fousek, Hartt’s piece offers a study of this unrealized experimental project—and the optimism from which it was conceived— recontextualized within the political and economic struggles of contemporary Puerto Rico.

David Hartt is an artist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Fine Arts at the University of Pennsylvania. He creates work that unpacks the social, cultural, and economic complexities of his various subjects. He explores how historic ideas and ideals persist or transform over time.
He is represented by Corbett vs. Dempsey, Chicago, David Nolan Gallery, New York City and Galerie Thomas Schulte, Berlin.

Sam Prekop is a Chicago based musician known as the singer and guitarist for The Sea and Cake. He has also established himself as a modular synthesist, building his instrument meticulously to find the perfect combination of oscillators, sequencers, limiters and filters to create a system that allows him to create sounds that are surprising and inviting. Prekop’s recordings can be found on Chicago label Thrill Jockey.

Karl Fousek is an electronic musician and composer based in Montreal, Quebec. His works explore the sonorities of modular synthesis and custom audio processing software in a variety of contexts from improvised music, to generative music, to drone and minimalism. His music has been published internationally on labels such as Limited Interest (US), Phinery (DK), Spring Break Tapes (US), Adhesive-Sounds (CA)

John Corbett is a Chicago based gallerist, curator and music critic. He was artistic director of Berlin JazzFest 2002, co-curated the Empty Bottle Jazz Series from 1996 to 2005, and was co-curator of Pathways to Unknown Worlds: Sun Ra, El Saturn, and Chicago’s Afro-Futurist Underground, 1954-1968 (Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, 2006; Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, 2009; Durham Art Guild, Durham, North Carolina, 2009). His recent books include Microgroove: Forays into Other Music (Duke University Press, 2015), A Listener’s Guide to Free Improvisation (University of Chicago Press 2016), and Vinyl Freak: Love Letters to a Dying Medium (Duke University Press, 2017)

presented by:
UPenn Department of Music


I’m all about a Philly thread to share events, etc! I think some other cities have similar threads here.

James (South Philly, near Broad and Snyder)


Go Birds!
Go Braids!


In Philly for 8 years now, living in Mt. Airy currently. The Musica Practica series run out of Penn is great. The Gatherings at St. Mary’s is an awesome monthly series for more old-school, Berlin-school, ambient synth music. And always odds and ends happening. Soon to be getting a Powwow thing going for modular performances.

Lots happening in this city!


Philly suburbs represent!



Over in olde kensington/fishtown.

Still pretty new to the city, moved here in the last year. I don’t use facebook and I’m wondering if I missing on a lot of the synth related goings-on (I’ve heard theres a philly synth group on there). Would love alternatives to staying in the loop w/ philly synth happenings.

I’ll definitely be checking out the Synthetic Evening tomorrow, thanks for sharing!


Yo Philly ppl!
Here’s a Philly/synthy-centric Google Group:!forum/tri-state-synthesizer-coalition

If yous guys would like to receive notice of MUSICA PRACTICA / ELETTRONICA VIVA things via email, check this:


Saturday, 14 April 2018 @ Vox Populi:
Carlos Iturralde, Carmina Escobar & Alexander Bruck

Wednesday, 18 April 2018 @ ICA
Rites of Sync (afternoon open air modular free for all) w/ Jerry Kaba, Shani Aviram, Sound Forager, Sandy James, Chaka Benson, Reagan, Stefano Daddi & Paul Schuette


I’ve got a spare ticket to my bloody valentine tonight in Philly, if anybody is interested. I can email it to you. Not 100% sure I am even going to make it tonight.


For those interested in video art and animation- there will be a screening of 60’s and 70’s Japanese experimental animation at Lightbox on Thursday. I’m ending up busy that evening but would not miss this otherwise…


Philly Summer Synth Conference at Temple U. - Saturday, August 18, 2018
Modular Synth Meet | Talks | MOTS
Here are the details:

This is a free event. If you want to bring modular gear to the meet, sign up here:


I ended up going to this and the Ko Nakajima films were incredible.
Thank you for posting this!


This looks like it could be really cool. The itinerary is a bit confusing though. Which part should I show up for if I want to hang out and play with people’s synths? :slight_smile:



The synth meet from 10-1 is where you want to go. Meet & greet, discuss gear and ideas, play with synthesizers.

The second part is talks with Q&A at the end.

The 3rd part is an open air concert of modular only synthesizer sets.
If it rains, we’ll do it inside.

Thanks for the input, I’ll update the website to make things more clear. Hope you can make it!


Sandy James is hosting a Philly Summer Synth Conference on Saturday, 18 August 2018 at Temple University this weekend, and you’re invited! You can just bring yourself, but if you’d really like, please feel free to bring a modular instrument or two or system for the meet up. Please send a note to sandysynth if you intend to do this.

Here are the (free-of-charge) activities on offer:

10AM - 1PM
Synth Meet @ Rock Hall
all modular, all the time

2PM - 6PM
Talks & panel discussion@ Tuttleman 107

Electronic Music Education and Preservation Project (EMEAPP)
EMEAPP will share details on their current projects and their plans for the future. A live improvisational performance on a Moog System 15 and an ARP 2600 might happen as well.

Learning while Failing with Sound Equipment: Listening (to) Cyborgs (Maria Murphy & Roksana Filipowska - University of Pennsylvania)
A session on the possibilities of the workshop format as a means for hands-on, practice-based research and shared knowledge production. Demonstration and Q&A to follow.

Public Service Announcements (with electronic sound/music): a modular-centric discussion about community, accessibility, and education.
confirmed panelists:
Shani Aviram (Megapolis Audio Festival)
Jerry Kaba (Modular on the Spot - Philly)
Stefano Daddi (Tri-State Synthesizer Coalition)
Eugene Lew (Musica Practica Elettronica Viva)

6PM - 8PM
Modular on the Spot @ Tyler Arts Quad -
If you haven’t been, this is when people set up their modular rigs outdoors and let 'em rip.
Artists: Jerry Kaba, Christopher Sean Powell, Stefano Daddi, Sandy James, Sudden Forever, Paul Schuette, Ritchie DeCarlo, and Maria Murphy & Roksana Filipowska

official page:

directions & wayfinding info:

page that will probably have the latest details:


updated the Philly Summer Synth post above


Electro-Pythagorus: A Portrait of Martin Bartlett
Luke Fowler

Wednesday, 5 December 2018
7PM (doors) @ Lightbox Film Center
Luke Fowler & Anthony Elms in conversation
Sandy James (modular synthesizer set)

mainstream media review:




Yunohana Variations

YoshimiO – drums
Susie Ibarra – drums + percussion
Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe – electronics

Sunday, 24 March 2019

Johnny Brenda’s
1201 N. Frankford Avenue
Philadelphia, PA



Why is it every show at Johnny Brenda’s I’d be interested to attend lands on a Sunday night :frowning: