Moog Sound Lab

As part of our artist development programme, Capsule partnered with the internationally renowned Moog Sound Lab and Birmingham City University over the summer of 2015 to create a four week residency programme, based at the Parkside campus. The Moog Sound Lab focused on organic experimentation and created a unique opportunity for artists to explore analog sound-scaping, synthesis and effects.

‘The butterflies-inducing bassline on Donna Summer’s I Feel Love, the unmistakable melody wiggling through New Order’s Blue Monday, the sound of the Millennium Falcon taking off in Star Wars, the sounds of the guns in the new Star Trek movies, most of Kraftwerk’s seminal 1974 album Autobahn and a pretty much endless list of other game changing songs and records from the last four decades all share one thing. The greatest pioneer of electronic music wasn’t a musician, but an eccentric physicist with a longstanding love of taking things apart and putting them back together again. When Robert Moog (it rhymes with “vogue”) unveiled the Moog synthesiser to the world in 1964, he not only radically changed music, but culture itself.’

The lab has moved to different venues and was previously pioneered at Rough Trade NYC. It become a temporary residency space, offering a unique opportunity for artists to explore, experiment and create. A physical manifestation of the intersection of music, art and technology, the lab offered a unique resource to artists to make new work.

Watch the results of the lab residencies with Gazelle Twin, Free School and Sarah Angliss via FACT

Artists included:

Sarah Angliss, an award winning composer, roboticist and historian of sound.

Gazelle Twin, the twisted Cronenberg-inspired persona of producer, composer and artist, Elizabeth Bernholz.

Free School, a Birmingham retro-futurist, mask-donning disco duo, exploring a unique fusion of Electro, House, Balearic and Kosmiche.

Seán Clancy, Lecturer in Composition at Birmingham Conservatoire worked in collaboration with Thomas Parkes to develop a new composition built from a vocabulary of analogue sources and samples that explored tensions between found and original material, between narrative and rupture.

Balandino Di Donato explored the Moog lab via touchless control and sound spatialisation as part of his pioneering research into Integra Live technology.

Mike Dring produced a new soundscape based on his interdisciplinary interests from architecture to glitch art. He took inspiration via field recordings and through interpreting the pattern of movement prescribed by the built environment.

Jason Nicholson reworked the principles of The Harmonograph to produce exquisite physical drawings that seek to illustrate the relationship between musical frequencies, mathematics, art, design and new and existing technologies.

Andy Pilsbury developed, Helix, a new interactive online platform that allowed users to participate in a multifaceted art project combining high-speed photography, moving image and ethereal soundscapes to create surreal flourishing landscapes.

Steven Chamberlain (Selloptape Cinema), sound artists Tom Tebby and Justin Wiggan collaborated on Birmingham: Symphony of a Metropolis, an ambitious new soundtrack. The piece, or ‘city film essay’, was a re-working of the 1927 Walter Ruttman film, Berlin: Symphony of a Metropolis

The residencies took place at Birmingham City University’s Parkside campus. A multi-million pound centre of excellence in the heart of Birmingham’s Eastside development.