Synthfarm 5

By Audio Pervert - 2/21/2018

Synthfarm, India’s premier residency for synthesis, modular sound and electronic music learning completed it’s 5th edition this year. Though every edition Synthfarm hosts a milieu of artists, producers, Djs, synth geeks and teaching faculty, the 5th edition was chocker block full in attendance, learning as well as surprises. The residency, set inside lush tropical settings in Dattapukur, West Bengal was witness to 20 attendees and 4 faculty members. The annual summit (previously bi-annual) now in it's third year is built upon 'inclusive and community' ethics committed to knowledge in the field of electronic music, production, modular-synthesis, ableton and conceptual learning.

Highlights of Synthfarm 5 : The ‘circuit makers course’ by 5Volts (Varun Desai) produced 6 synthesizers, titled the Poca-Synthput together by the attendees over a period of 10 hours. The Poca-Synth kits and circuitry is a result of an inter-city collaboration between Varun (Kolkata) and A.F.A (Animal Factory Amplification) based in Mumbai. The Poca-Synths are inspired by the cult Atari Punk Consoles (late 1980s) has been revamped with several new features and fun elements. Matt Black of Coldcut fame and one half of the seminal UK based label Ninja Tune, presented his latest project, titled ‘Ninja Jam’ : An IOS based app which creates instant music using samples and loop sequencing. The app demonstration and short lecture by Matt was a reckoner into the world of sampling and it’s creative uses in making music. Synthfarm edition 5 also featured the first Indian modular synthesizer system built by Dhvanit and Richard from Modular Analog based in Mumbai. The modular systems built by these two bright entrepreneurs was a key attraction for many of the attendees at the residency as well a moment of pride for all the Indian synthesizer community. As stated by Richard, “Modular Analog as an enterprise is committed to building creative solutions for electronic musicians who are using synthesizers and modular instruments”.

The Cognitive Science of Sound presentation by Audio Pervert (Spain) included various short modules aimed at decrypting the cultural and psychological aspects of music. The course centered around pertinent theories and questions which examine music as a cultural force and the role of an artist in a given society. Pol (Switzerland) presented a series of modules on randomness, generative instruments, signal flow, sampling and creative midi solutions using Ableton. Lionel Dentan of Da Saz, presented various modular synthesis techniques plus performance rudiments for beginners as well as advanced practitioners. This edition of Synthfarm featured two scholarships fostered by Red Bull Music Mumbai, which was clinched by women artists from Mumbai (Decoy) and Bangalore (Pardafash). Since 2017,  the curators at Synthfarm have initiated a program for empowerment of women in electronic music within the existing framework of the residency. "At Synthfarm, we focus on quality and diversity of the courseware every year, at a very affordable cost ... something that is largely missing from most music schools and tech-institutions in India" states Audio Pervert, curator and administrator at the residency.

The residency was full of new kinds of interactions, discussions and cross disciplinary debates between the attendees and the faculty. Synthfarm with it’s intense schedule and diverse faculty, notched approximately 70 hours (faculty of four) of teaching over 3 days, plus several formal demonstrations of products and ideas as well as 1-on-1 interactions. The 'Open Studio Sessions' resulted in roughly 5 hours of recording and improvisation material, to be released soon as a Sample Pack under open-source format. Next Synthfarm dates will be announced in the coming months … Stay tuned ! Videos, Blog and Sound Libraries by

Watch Synthfarm 5 video testimonials and montage :

[photos by Pardafash Sandhya.V]

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