Watch: exclusive intro theme for I Dream Of Wires doc on modular synths

November 2013

Watch "Themogene", a visualisation using processed footage from I Dream Of Wires, a documentary on modular synths, covered by Mark Pilkington in The Wire 358.

I Dream Of Wires is a documentary by Canadian film makers Robert Fantinatto and Jason Amm looking at the history of modular synthesis, and the contemporary international community of manufacturers, enthusiasts and musicians that make and use modular synthesizers.

The above video features the intro music from I Dream Of Wires, "Themogene" (composed by Jason Amm aka Solvent) as visualised by video artist Jennifer Juniper Stratford, processing footage from the documentary using modular video synthesis created by LZX Industries.

On the relationship between synthesized audio and video in an integrated modular synthesizer system, LZX's Liz Larsen says: "A modular, open framework and analogue technology is not only useful for the synthesis of sound, but also images. Traditional analogue video signals have much more in common with audio signals than they do with present day digital video technologies. Video synthesizers, like audio synthesizers, are analogue computers which process continuous voltages across time. If you can imagine audio synthesis as happening in two dimensions (amplitude across time) then video synthesis can be imagined as happening in three dimensions: amplitude across time factored into the horizontal and vertical axises of the display. The same basic analogue computing functions: signal generation via oscillators, voltage controlled amplifiers, and filters, may be applied to the video signal in the same manner as an audio signal, but to create shapes, patterns and textures rather as they are emitted via a television display instead of an audio speaker.

"In an integrated system which combines the potential for both audio and video synthesis, the same control voltage signals which used to fashion the modulation over the audio signal path in the fashion of sequencers, LFOs and envelope generators, can be used to control the synthesis or processing of a video signal as well. This approach is much more immediate than other audio visualisation techniques which do not happen in real time, as the synaesthetic qualities of the resulting visual and its audio component preempt both the image and the sound at their point of origin."

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