Synthesisers: Sound of the Future


Synthesisers: Sound of the Future

Exhibition Space
Grainger Museum
Royal Parade


The Grainger Museum was at the heart of electronic music experimentation in Melbourne in the '60s and early ‘70s, when composer Keith Humble, recently returned from a decade of musical experimentation in Paris, transformed the Museum into ‘the Grainger Centre’: an electronic experimentation studio for students and composers. Humble equipped the Grainger Centre with the latest analogue synthesisers made by Electronic Music Studios (EMS), London. The synthesisers from EMS allowed local composers to create entirely new sounds to incorporate into their experimental music and processes. For a brief period of less than a decade, the Grainger Museum resonated with this sound of the future.

Synthesisers: Sound of the Future tells the story of this forgotten period in the Grainger’s history. The exhibition brings together, for the first time, the suite of early EMS instruments – many of which were in the Grainger Museum during the period – on loan from the Melbourne Electronic Sound Studio (MESS). Evoking the ethos of vibrant period of musical creativity in Melbourne, the exhibition also features cutting-edge video art by electronic artist David Chesworth, produced on the EMS Spectre video synthesiser circa 1980.

The exhibition runs in two modes: an exhibition display and an open studio. It incorporates performances conducted in association with Composition and Interactive Composition programs in the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music, and experimental sound organisation Liquid Architecture.

Presented by Grainger Museum and Melbourne Electronic Sound Studio.