2017 Seminar Programme

The times and running order of the talks are yet to be decided.

Martyn Ware

Heaven 17 and Human League founder, Martyn Ware, will present a talk at SynthFest UK about his passion for synthesizers.


Deconstructing the Dr Who Theme

In recognition of what would have been Delia Derbyshire’s 80th birthday, current members of the Radiophonic Workshop will discuss her iconic theme music and demonstrate how it was created. Through the playback of digitised original source tapes from the 1960s, Mark Ayres, Roger Limb, Paddy Kingsland and Peter Howell will bring the music to life and talk about their time at the world famous BBC Radiophonic Workshop.


Mini-Oramics – Talk and Demo by Tom Richards

Daphne Oram was the co-founder and first director of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, and is credited with the invention of a new form of ‘drawn sound’ synthesis – Oramics.
In the 1960s she designed a machine which was the size of a large office photocopier, but then in the 1970s she began work on the Mini-Oramics but it was never completed.
http://www.gold.ac.uk/news/mini-oramics/

PhD student Tom Richards has re-imagined and built a fully working Mini-Oramics machine and will give a talk and demo before allowing visitors to SynthFest UK to try their hand at drawing their own musical ideas for the machine to play.

This is a rare public appearance of the Mini-Oramics machine and not to be missed!


Modular Synth performance in Surround Sound – John Crossley

Based on his research into immersive audio systems for live performance. University of Derby music lecturer John Crossley will talk about surround sound performance with modular synths based on the Sonic Emotion Absolute 3D system. The session will end with a live ‘Modular Jam’ through a multi-speaker setup where you’ll be able to hear the sounds of the synths animated around the room in what promises to be a stimulating sonic event.


Ondes Martenot

What the heck is this mysterious instrument? Dorien Schampaert is one of the UK’s leading authorities on this bizarre early electronic music instrument invented in 1928. She will talk about it’s invention, how it works and play recordings of its unmistakable eerie sound.


VIP Roundtable Discussion – 5pm

This year we present a star-studded roundtable discussion chaired by SOS writer Gordon Reid.
The panel consists of four people working in different areas of music and electronic sound all with a passion for synths.

Martyn Ware & Adrian Utley

Martyn Ware & Adrian Utley

Heaven 17 and Human League founding member, Martyn Ware is best known as one of the original 1980s synth band pioneers from Sheffield. As a musician and record producer, he collaborated with Vince Clarke on two albums and has produced a number of artists including Tina Turner. His interests also extend into sound installation and surround sound technology which he’s used on a number of site-specific projects.

Having built up a collection of vintage synths over the years, Adrian Utley is involved in a wide range of performance and film soundtrack projects often with Goldfrapp’s Will Gregory. When not involved with Portishead work he can also be found on stage with his ‘Guitar Orchestra’ performing such pieces as Terry Riley’s “In C” with an ensemble including a bass clarinet, four organs and 19 guitars.

Steve Levine & Hannah Peel

Steve Levine & Hannah Peel

Best known for producing all of Culture Club’s classic hits and a long list of production work with other major artists. In recent year’s he created The Record Producers, an awarding-winning radio documentary series for the BBC about classic albums and record producers. A self-declared synth fan, Steve Levine’s studio is packed with synths and samplers collected across the decades.

Hannah Peel is a multi-instrumentalist, composer and arranger who’s released records as a solo artist and as a member of the psychogeography indie rock group The Magnetic North. She also collaborated with electronic group John Foxx and the Maths and more recently performed as the analogue synth-based, space-age alter-ego Mary Casio.


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Please note seats can not be reserved and are allocated on a first-come-first-seated basis.