Celebration of legendary synthesizer and its creator
1973 is not only the year of the first mobile phone call but also the year in which Russian-American composer Serge Tcherepnin cobbled together the first 20 units of his famous Serge synthesizer and launched them for sale.
Tcherepnin’s synthesizer system was in no way inferior to larger synthesizer brands like Buchla, Moog and ARP. More than that: his instrument was formative for the experimental electronic music of artists like Karlheinz Stockhausen, Ivan Tcherepnin (his brother), Malcolm Cecil and Frank Zappa.
Slightly more recently, artists and bands like Radiohead, Jim O’Rourke, Sonic Boom, Sarah Davachi, Thomas Ankersmit and Floris Vanhoof also created modern compositions with the legendary synth.
To mark the instrument’s 50th anniversary, AB and Les Ateliers Claus bring Thomas Ankersmit and Floris Vanhoof together for an Artist Talk, Q&A, and two live performances starring the Serge Modular synth.
Thomas Ankersmit is a musician and sound artist operating from out of Berlin and Amsterdam. He plays the Serge Modular synthesizer both live and in the studio and has already collaborated with artists like Phill Niblock and Valerio Tricoli. His music has been released on the likes of Shelter Press, PAN and Touch. In his work, Ankersmit combines intricate sonic details and raw electric power with a physical and spatial experience of sound. Acoustic phenomena such as infrasound and otoacoustic emissions (sounds coming from inside the head, generated by the ears themselves) play an important role in his work, as does a deliberate, creative misuse of his equipment.
Floris Vanhoof has been an established name in the experimental, avant-garde art world for many years. Vanhoof combines homemade music circuits and forgotten projection techniques in his installations, expanded cinema performances, films and releases. He translates one medium into another in order to discover how our perception works and what new perspectives emerge. “Part of my practice is to carefully dose sounds and visuals. Considering how much to show or let hear and what to omit. Subtly overloading our perception so our imagination goes to work. Looking inside and outside. Creating small problems that put big ones into context”, he elaborates. In his projects, Vanhoof consistently turns to his homemade Serge synth. After an extensive tour of Canada and the US, in May he will also tour Japan with Lieven Martens, before then heading to Les Ateliers Claus.