Improvisation For Buchla & Benjollin

Sunday Synth Jam: Synthesist Geir Opdal, aka Untermensch, shared this video for his improvised piece, The silica winds of Jezero Crater.

The performance centers on a Buchla Music Easel, with Macumbista Benjolin and other electronics creating atmosphere.

Here’s what Opdal has to say about the technical details:

“After NASA’s Perseverance Rover’s successful landing in the Jezero Crater, I found it fitting to dedicate my latest musical improv piece to this amazing happening.

With its attempt to find traces of previous life on Mars I found this piece, which was highly inspired by older science fiction movie aesthetics, was a perfect match. Mars, one of sci-Fi’s largest sources of inspiration, is still a mystery to us. Has it once been thriving with life? Hopefully we will once learn its secrets. And maybe this rover and its highly tuned instruments might uncover at least a tiny bit of that answer.

On the nerdy side of things. Here I used my Macumbista Benjolin to make a mysterious backdrop. I put it though my newly acquired Meris Polymoon to really mash it up, and then though the Jomox T-Resonator. With the Jomox I found some nice high pitched resonances which made me think of glass winds. This later became silica winds as the aforementioned happenings influence came upon me.

After the Jomox, I put it though the Eventide Timefactor for some nice delayed filter sweeps. After all this it got some Empress Echosystem and Eventide Space via send/return on the mixer.

The melody is played, obviously, on my Buchla Music Easel. Here I set the FM to a very low frequency for the modulation of the primary osc, to get the classic old sci-fi vibrato. The amount of this modulation is again decided with the pressure input from the 218 keyboard. I also used pressure to slightly increase the frequency of the mod osc, and to increase the timbre. This combination gives me the opportunity for some good organic human input to the sound.

The Easel gets a good dose of Empress Echosystems and Eventide Space from the mixer.”

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