I Dream of Wires showcase
As part of the annual MUTEK Festival in Montreal Canada, the I Dream of Wires team curated an evening of cutting-edge, modular synthesizer based performances. The event took place on Saturday June 2, 2012 at the Montreal Satosphere (part of the Society for Arts and Technology), a spectacular 360 degree multi-media performance space with live performances, all incorporating modular synthesizers, by Sealey/Greenspan/Lanza (Orphx/Junior Boys), Keith Fullerton Whitman (Kranky/Editions Mego), Clark (Warp Records), and Container (Spectrum Spools).
New Doc I Dream of Wires Celebrates Modular Synths, Retro Gear By Geeta Dayal 06.13.12
I Dream of Wires, an upcoming documentary about modular synthesizers, celebrates analog hardware in all its wild, messy glory. More than 100 prominent musicians, including Trent Reznor, cEvin Key, Gary Numan, Carl Craig and Morton Subotnick are in the process of being interviewed for the ambitious feature-length film, which is set to be finished in the fall.
Colorful masses of patch cables, rows of knobs and faders, and electronic sounds abound in the exclusive clip above, shot this month at the legendary MUTEK Festival in Montreal. In addition to interviews with several musicians, including Keith Fullerton Whitman, Container and Clark, the 15-minute clip shows intriguing glimpses of the synths in action, in a massive multimedia dome housing 157 speakers called the Satosphere.
The “dedicated and obsessive subculture” of modular synth fanatics across the world formed the inspiration for I Dream of Wires, said director Robert Fantinatto in an e-mail exchange with Wired. “Years ago, I made a small documentary film about the urban-exploration subculture called Echoes of Forgotten Places…. I felt that this whole world of modular synths could make an interesting little film.”
The project soon grew massively in size and ambition. Fantinatto joined forces with Jason Amm, better known as the electronic musician Solvent. With Amm as producer of the film, Fantinatto was able to reach a large number of well-known musicians.
“The trip to see Trent Reznor was probably the most nerve-wracking,” said Fantinatto. “He lives way up on the top of a mountain in Beverly Hills and it [was] quite intimidating leading up to the interview, but Trent was supercool and had us all at ease very quickly.”
But the most jaw-dropping array of modular synth gear that Fantinatto and Amm uncovered didn’t belong to Reznor or any of the other stars they profiled. The best collection, hands down, belonged to a clinical psychologist in Los Angeles.
“He had the most extensive collection of gear I’ve ever seen,” said Fantinatto. “A huge studio with every modular synth ever made, literally every single one ever!”
Fantinatto said he met many modular synth collectors who have “devoted a significant chunk of their lives [to] buying, building and collecting these machines that sometimes take over their homes and their lives.”
“The mystery behind what motivates this irrational obsession is at the heart of the film,” Fantinatto said. “In the end, it is a longing for something authentic — something that has been lost in a virtualized world.”