Synthfarm 2020

By Audio Pervert - 2/16/2020

The 7th episode of Synthfarm held on 7th, 8th and 9th February, reached maximum participation since it's inception in 2015. India's leading residency for electronic music, synthesis, modular science, conceptual learning and DIY synth-making has become the buzzword amongst emerging artists, producers, sound-artists and DJs across India. Synthfarm 2020 was witness to increased diversity, female participation and total learning hours. New courses, new synthesizers, new modular rigs, new construction kits and new set of presentations marked the three day residency which was attended by 25 participants (66% male : 34% female). As the residency fosters an open and inclusive environment, it was marked with several discussions and ad-hoc collaborations between the participants and faculty. Let's hear what the attendees had to say about Synthfarm this year...

"Synthfarm has been very important for me. For electronic music enthusiasts, the residency provides a warm place and space to experiment and explore various aspects of synthesis, be it tweaking a big synthesizer or building your own little DIY-synth" states DJ Shireen, an emerging DJ from New Delhi. "For electronic music, we did not have an education system, where one could learn and explore the deeper concepts behind the process. Synthfarm enables that access for all us visiting here..." states I.P.Singh, a producer, composer, guitarist and music therapist based in Australia and India. "I came to Synthfarm the 2nd time around this year. I really wanted to see what's new in the field of synthesis, and to explore more possibilities to build on my music and sound" states Adi Choudhary, a budding producer, actor and growth consultant based in Mumbai. "I had preconceived notions about synthesis and electronics; like it being very technical or even too 'scientific' - but it's been super interesting and lucid being around all the people who are involved in the learning and sharing of knowledge at Synthfarm" says Plastic Parvati, a singer and producer based in Kolkata. Through March and April, narratives and montages will be released as short videos featuring all the attending participants.

Synthfarm 2020 clocked over 440 hours of total learning amongst the 25 visiting participants. Participants had a chocker-block schedule over three days, with 13 presentations, a synth-making course and night-jams at the Open-Studio. The synth-making course attracted a large percentage of attendees engaged in building the Poca (Synthfarm's native DIY synthesizer). The Poca-synth is a monophonic analog battery operated synthesizer, which has been developed by Animal Factory Amplification and 5volts, constantly ramped-up on the design and build quality, over the past few years. "Earlier I could not believe that making a synthesizer over 6 to 7 hours was possible, thanks to Varun's (5volts) guidance and patience. It's so much fun, this loud and little machine, to take home and plug into the mix" states Kaali, a newbie DJ from New Delhi. Over 3 days, 23 Poca-synths were fabricated by the participants. New retro-style synths, a vocoder and drum-machine provided by Behringer India were an added attraction, with the participants tweaking the instruments collectively or all by themselves (headphones).

New presentations, stepping outside the usual fields of synthesis, sound and music production. One aimed at understanding and demystifying creativity and increasing work-flow and productivity. Climate change and the alarming crisis of the environment was the hotly debated presentation, given the issue and threat at hand cannot be ignored anymore! The residency has expanded it's empowerment program for women in electronic music since last year, now hosting three female participants (earlier was two). This years selected female talent comprised of 'zequenx' from New Delhi, Plastic Parvati from Kolkata and Uvika Wahi from Portugal. One spectacular aspect of the residency is the cuisine, prepared by Zareen Desai, who brings her vast culinary experience plus lots of organisation and 'production'.

"At Synthfarm, we encourage the participants to come forward with their ideas, dreams, challenges and problems at a subjective as well as objective level. The idea is to rise above industry standards and the given mediocrity - rejecting exclusivity, instead building inclusivity and diversity" states Audio Pervert, part of the faculty and handling the curation and branding of the residency. "Five years ago, we created Synthfarm with the basic premise, that electronic music and the indian talent spectrum needs a meeting ground, needs a knowledge base. I think today we have a growing vibrant community, a massive talent pool and newer artists joining the residency every year" states Varun Desai a.k.a 5volts, co-founder of the residency and heading logistics and DIY synth-making. "Every year we have new new attendees with deep curiosity about modular synthesis. Some even have really cool rigs, and are so nerdy, full of advanced skills and tricks. Guess I am learning as much as the attendees are..." states Lionel Dentan (Da Saz), presenting the modular-science courses. Enough said about the highlights of the residency, the experience is simply priceless. "It's my 3rd year at Synthfarm, and having visited this place as a complete newbie earlier, this year I was presenting Ableton courses, as a faculty. It's been simply amazing to be here both ways!" states Aditya Kapoor a.k.a Flux Vortex, an emerging electronica producer composer based in New Delhi.

Applications for next Synthfarm will open in June. See you in 2021!

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