2018 Seminar Programme


Due to many of last year’s seminars being full to beyond seating capacity, we’ve booked a larger room this year and brought back Martyn Ware and the Dr Who talk by popular demand.

To help us plan the number of seats required, we’ve included a poll on the Eventbrite Ticket Site where you purchase your SynthFest UK ticket.
All talks are free and you may attend as many as you like.
Note: completing the poll is not a booking commitment or a guarantee of a seat. All seminar seats are none reservable and you must queue on the day.

(Programme running order and start times of the talks will be announced in September. We reserve the right to change the programme at short notice.)

Martyn Ware

Heaven 17 and Human League founder Martyn Ware will present a talk at SynthFest UK about his passion for synthesizers.
(Back by popular demand)


Deconstructing the Dr Who Theme

In recognition of the 60th anniversary of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, official archivist Mark Ayres will bring the music to life and talk about how this iconic theme tune was created by Delia Derbyshire using digitised versions of her original analogue tapes from the 1960s.
(Back by popular demand)


The Trautonium – Early synth from 1929

James Worthington, Ghost Money A.K.A. will talk about this strange and almost forgotten instrument by first looking at the early German electronic scene from which the trautonium emerged, including some of the more important personalities. How it’s invention came about at The Berlin Hochschule, by the desire to create new musical possibilities, featuring the involvement of composer Paul Hindemith, it’s inventor Freidrich Trautwein and it’s main protagonist, virtuoso and composer Oskar Sala. The talk will feature excerpts from old documentary films plus a live demonstration by James who will play what is possibly the only trautonium in the UK.


Sound Synthesis using Residuals

Martin Russ, creator of the ‘Residuals’ approach to synthesis, will give the first UK demonstration of this pioneering method of deconstructing sampled instrument sounds.
This session will show a simple new way to creatively work with samples by splitting them into a ‘pitched’ part and a ‘noise’ part using a practical approach. Once a sound has been separated into two easily-comprehended orthogonal ‘residuals’, then rapid changes can be made to many normally inaccessible features of sampled sounds, using widely available conventional sound synthesis functionality. The live demonstrations of the technique in use will show how easy and intuitive changes can be made to sounds that combine samples and synthesis.


Delia Derbyshire

The pioneering composer based at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop who create the Dr Who theme.
Caro C (instigator and project manager of Delia Derbyshire Day) will present a talk about the late great electronic music pioneer via the Delia Derbyshire Archive held at John Rylands Library in Manchester, UK. You will have a chance to see some of Delia’s working notes and other correspondences and listen to audio extracts from the archive.


Mars By 1980! – The Story of Electronic Music

Author David Stubbs, known for his previous book on Kraftwerk, will talk about his new book and take us on a potted history from the very earliest of avant-garde sound making machines to current electronic music performers.


VIP Roundtable Discussion – Featuring a panel of VIP guests TBA.


See What You Missed At The 2017 Seminars