rowing up in a house of a piano builder influenced her life at an early stage. Eden Grey, holding a Masters’ degree in music technology and now in her 2nd year PhD for music composition, went from playing the piano at a very young age to electronic music and building her own modular synthesizer. Working as an interpretive multimedia artist and musician, she is now based in London pushing the local modular scene forward.
THE EARLY MENTOR
“We had a bunch of pianos in the house, more than one. There was a broken player piano in my dad’s workshop in our house, a grand piano and an upright. I was interested in seeing the mechanisms inside of the piano, and all the little parts that make the mechanism work. I liked to go with him to see his workshop, and sometimes I would accompany him when he went to customer’s homes to tune pianos. Once in a while, he would even let me tune a string.”
“I got into modular synthesis when I was doing my Masters’ degree in music technology, after learning Max/MSP programming and about the history of music technology, and dealing with all kinds of synthesis and sound creation. I went to the National Association for Music Merchants (NAMM), and saw the modular synthesis boutique booths in the basement. I was instantly hooked. After NAMM, I built the 4MS Autonomous Bassline Generator (ABG) as a creative assignment for my Masters’ and then inquired at 4MS Company about doing my internship there to learn more about modular synthesis. Dan Green, the founder of 4MS, agreed to have me there to teach me the basics. I spent 6 weeks in Portland, Oregon with 4MS as a home base where I learned many aspects of building and playing modular synthesizers. It was the most inspiring musical experience.”
YOUR ROOTS AND THE INFLUENCE OF IT
Which (electronic) music influenced you the most?
Aphex Twin, Autechre, Kraftwerk, Carsten Nicolai, Air,
Amon Tobin, Massive Attack, Boards of Canada, Erik Satie, Led Zeppelin, Radiohead.
Which genre influenced and shapes your music?
Dub, classical, rock, hip hop, techno, electro, ambient, drum n’bass, metal.
Pretty much how my music sounds like.
Infected by Miami music?
Very influenced by living in Miami. It is a unique and colorful city, vibrant with a futuristic city scape on the ocean. Miami bass, electro, drum n’ bass, tropical funky, flamenco, graffiti and psychedelic art scene have been important to my development. Though I kept a fair distance from the house music on South Beach because of the empty commercial culture there.
MIAMI HEAT vs. LONDON MOIST
moving from the magic city into the big smoke
How does the new vibe affects doing music?
London is fastpaced and hectic, I have noticed a major change in my music from feeling the rush of the city life. The sky is bigger in Miami because it flat, with no hills, and is not closed in by buildings as it is in London. Composing music has become an outlet of the pressure and anxiety from the city.
How is the modular scene in London and the UK?
It is lively, most recently a meet at Kingston College. There was also a great meet event in Peterborough about a month ago where I met many more of the country’s synthesizer users, developers, enthusiasts. Red Dog Music have a little modular popup boutique shop on Denmark Street where they had a modular showcase of ALM, Expert Sleepers and Abstract Data in September 2015.
I went to visit the new modular shop called Cymru Beats that opened in Wales in the summer when I was attending a conference called “Popular Music Futures” to give a live performance at Cardiff University.
Beyond that, I organized a concert at my university in June 2015 with a guest performer Finlay Shakespeare who is the developer of Future Sound Systems in which we both improvised on our modular synthesizers together.
Sounds like you successfully connected to the scene…
I made a lot of new friends at the synthesizer meet days and Music Tech Fest in Sweden and Slovenia, met many people in the electronic music and modular synthesis scene in Berlin at the I Dream of Wires documentary screening and Schneidersladen.
What are the stores in UK?
And what about the venues?
There are a lot of great music venues in London. Most recently I saw Autechre perform live at Electric Brixton.
I am playing at the Alley Cat on Denmark St. on Jan. 14,
New River Studios in London on Jan. 21,
and I am hosting a modular synthesizer meet event on February 27 at the Iklectik Art Cafe.
( Facebook Eventlink )
And finally, in part two of this article we are getting hands on experience how to start building your own modular synth!