< Dr. Mark Pilkington » Stockholm EMS

Composer-in-Residence, Stockholm EMS, Sweden.

2nd May – 11th May 2014.

During the residency: I investigated the Buchla 200 modular synthesiser, decoded a number of ambisonic field recordings and made a solo-performance at Flylinken.

I worked mainly in Studio 4 on the Buchla 200 modular synthesiser and later on in Studio 2 using the eight-channel studio. Delivered a presentation to VEMS, a user group based at EMS-Bollplank where I discussed my practice.

Compositions undertaken whilst at EMS :

1. Lamaload (work-in-progress) 8 channel composition based on sounds recorded at Lamaload Dam, Peak District National Park, UK.

2. Current 9: comprises of improvised sounds recorded from retro and vintage synthesisers: EMS VCS3, Drum machines, EMT 140 echo plate, and Buchla 200 synthesisers.

3. Mixed music track for Thought Universe and The Baggy Kidz for the label TUM.

4. Leaves: an algorthmic audio-visual performance platform developed in max/msp and processing.

Established in 1964, Stockholm Elektromusikstudion EMS is one of Europe’s foremost institutions of electronic music experimentation that facilitates a community of international composers and sound artists. The sheer diversification of sonic projects taking place drives the organizations creative energy; the social formation continues to question the rigors of modernism without discouraging others. The professional administrative and technical staff offered excellent support making the residency a productive and worthwhile experience. The musical, culture and social formations encouraged me to identify new ways of music creation within the studio environment.

Designed by Donald Buchla in the 1960’s, the Buchla 200 modular synthesiser allows a user to connect various sound modules to create complex and evolving sonic textures. The practical experience of working with the Buchla formed part of my recent research composing with analog modular synthesisers. The resulting sound material is used in a number of recent compositions Foof (multi-channel), Current 9 (fixed-media) and Lens 7 (audio-visual)

Whilst working in Studio 2, I decoded a number of B-format ambisonic recordings of Lamaload Dam into eight-channels in preparation for a new composition using Wigware plug-ins in Reaper. The 8 channel stems were further transformed using the Buchla’s sound modules and control voltages to produce respondent synthetic textures.