Surprise punt at Adelaide Film Festival – what the future sounded like

Saturday night Mandy and I took a punt and grabbed a random ticket for a film at our local film festival. Turned out to be a real treat (with a bitter chaser). We found ourselves stuck in the queue behind an older gentleman who seemed to require rather too much assistance finding his place in the cinema.

What we soon found out is that he was none other than Tristram Cary – electronic music geek domiciled in our home town of Adelaide. It turns out that he was special guest, along with the filmakers at this special screening of: what the future sounded like

Comprising of pioneering electronic musicians Tristram Cary (famed for his work on Dr Who) and Peter Zinovieff, EMS was one of the world’s most advanced computer-music facilities. Its great legacy is the VCS3, Britain’s first synthesizer and rival of the American Moog. The VCS3 was a uniquely British invention, which changed the sounds of popular musicians including Brian Eno, Hawkwind and Pink Floyd. Almost thirty years on, the VCS3 is still used by electronic artists like Aphex Twin and Chicken Lips. Local filmmakers Matthew Bate and Claire Harris uncover a lost chapter in music history, emphasising a group of composers who used technology to re-think the boundaries of music and sound.

Watching the film I was amazed at the connections and influences on my own life – the Hawkwind tune featured in the film used to help me ‘go on trips’ in the seventies. The approach to hacking sound reminds me so much of the discussion our kids had with their mates Jacob and John (from on a recent camping trip.

The bitter chaser was the ‘too close to the bone’ experience afforded by Life in Loops – a Megacities Remix. Not quite the little film to cheer our currently tormented souls!!

Fang – Mike Seyfang


About mseyfang

Interruptus Digitalis
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