An independent documentary about the development of the modular synthesizer, I Dream Of Wires is a much a history of music, as it is the technology facilitating it.
The film explores the history, demise and resurgence of iconic ultimate electronic music machines, now this era-defining film being screened in Brighton this September, as part of Brighton Digital Festival and Scalarama.
Wonderland Film & Music, in partnership with Sensoria, the UK’s Festival of Music, Film & Digital, have collaborated with Melting Vinyl, to bring this landmark documentary to Brighton Digital Festival. The evening will also feature a special introduction from Sensoria mainstay and Cabaret Voltaire musician. Stephen Mallinder
Written and directed by Robert Fantinatto, co-written and produced by Jason Amm and narrated by Nawroz Abbany, the film features interviews with over 100 modular musicians, inventors and enthusiasts. These include Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails), Gary Numan, Vince Clarke (Erasure), Morton Subotnick, Chris Carter (Throbbing Gristle), Daniel Miller, Carl Craig, Flood, Cevin Key (Skinny Puppy),James Holden, Factory Floor, Legowelt, Clark, John Foxx and Bernie Krause, as well as modular manufacturers Doepfer, Modcan, and Make Noise.
Beginning with an historical primer, I Dream Of Wires explores the early development of modular synthesizers from pioneering companies Moog Music Inc. and Buchla and Associates. Then it travels forwards to the near-extinction of these instruments, brought on by the introduction of portable, digital synthesizers in the ’80s.
From there, the rebirth of the modular synthesizer is retraced, leading into the phenomenal resurgence of the modular synthesizer. Along the way is some in-depth exploration of the passions, obsessions and dreams of people who have dedicated part of their lives to this esoteric electronic music machine. What started out as a “vintage-revival scene” in the ’90s has grown into an underground phenomena with a growing market of modular obsessives craving ever more wild and innovative sounds and interfaces. Today, the modular synthesizer is no longer an esoteric curiosity or even a mere music instrument — it is an essential tool for radical new sounds and a bona fide subculture.
I Dream Of Wires comes to St. George’s, Kemp Town, on Tue 9 Sept, as part of Brighton Digital Festival 2014.
The documentary’s original soundtrack by Solvent is available on Suction Records