Monday, May 30, 2011


Barry Anderson is musician whose primary focus is sound synthesis through the use of various electronic components including the Buchla 200e.  His work combines exploratory sound with a deft sense of control.  He is a good friend,  a gifted artist and technician,  and an inspiration to those who have heard his work. See/hear Barry's videos on his YouTube channel,  Oxix52.

TSS:  What route did you take to your interest in electronic music and music technology?  Who were some of the artists/musicians that first sparked that interest?

BA:  I have always been interested in technology. As a kid in the 70's and teen in the 80's, I had a keen interest in the sounds being used in the music of the time.  Some of my earliest memories of synthesizer sounds were Chick Corea's Minimoog leads on his album My Spanish Heart. Some of the other bands that caught my ear were Genesis, Yes, and Pink Floyd just to name a few. Of course, I had no idea what was creating the more interesting sounds. I knew nothing of synthesizers. Later I would learn about synthesizers by listening to Switched on Bach by Wendy Carlos.

TSS: How would you describe the music that you are now making?  Is the Buchla 200e the primary instrument that facilitates your musical ideas?  What are you favorite Buchla modules?

BA:  The music I make now is more experimental or explorative. I do try to find ways to incorporate the 200e in to the music I make with friends and on projects, but when I sit down to see what comes out without direction, it is usually journey of discovery.  If I have a specific musical idea or plan, I will not start with the 200e. I usually begin with the Nord G2X, Access Virus, or piano. Once I get a basic structure, then I may either patch something on the 200e to fit, or I may run a recorded track through some modules for processing. It is very hard to choose a favorite module. They are all so unique and beautiful. But, if I had to pick, it would probably be the 292e, or really the 292e/281e combo. I love the rhythms and textures that can be produced with these modules. Just these two and a sound source is lovely.

TSS: Why use modular?

BA:  I can blame the Moog Voyager for my fascination with modulars. I acquired my Voyager in 2005. When I added the CP-251 and VX-351, I began to understand the power and joy of hardware modular synthesizers.  I decided I had to build a system and was planning on when I realized that I really didn't want to have a modular that was in the same sonic territory as the Moog. I thought about Eurorack but was really drawn to the Buchla.  It's just so different.  I liked the idea of having a folding case that I could easily move and having modules that were functionally deeper.  Also, The videos on Youtube by Alessandro Cortini were a big inspiration to me.   I have not regretted my decision one bit.


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