Experimental electronic drone piece created from material generated on an ARP 2500 modular synthesizer.
Composer: Mike Olson
Chamber of Mechanisms, is a fragment-based electronic music piece, which uses audio generated on a vintage ARP 2500. This is a very rare analog modular synthesizer. They didn’t make very many of them and only a very small number still exist. The particular instrument I’m using for this project is installed in the electronic music lab at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. The instrument was there back in the early ’80s when I was a composition student at the U. of M., but it was completely out of commission. I’m so glad it didn’t wind up on the scrap heap, as has happened to so many of these exotic old instruments. It is now functioning and usable, and I was very excited to be able spend some quality time with this beauty. Many thanks to Michael Duffy who heads up the electronic music lab at the U. of M. for allowing me access to it. I spent an afternoon working with the instrument and recording a bunch of material that I then took back to my studio. There I transferred the audio into my computer and began work on constructing the finished piece. It sounds somewhat different than anything else I’ve ever done. This is no doubt due to the fact that the instrument itself has its own very particular sonic characteristics.