Next March, Norwich is hosting a new synthesizer and modular festival called Synth East. It brings together manufacturers, enthusiasts, performances and a Steve Davis All-Star Modular Patch-Off.
Ok, full disclosure, this is my event, with my “Molten Modular” hat on. I’m putting it together with Electronic Sound magazine and the Norwich Arts Centre to bring a bit of synthesizer culture to the heart of East Anglia. It came about from a conversation with Steve Davis (snooker champion and, more recently, DJ and modular artist) that involved coming up with ideas on how we could perform together. It ballooned from thinking we could probably fill the back room of a pub to the potential of putting on a Synthfest/Superbooth style event, but in my neck of the woods in Norfolk.
Things really got serious when I contacted Electronic Sound magazine who is based in Norwich, and was totally into the idea. They got the Arts Centre involved, which is the perfect venue for this event. It all snowballed from there.
Synth East is taking place on Saturday, the 4th of March, 2023. It is split into two events: a Synthfest-style show during the day and a gig in the evening.
Daytime Exhibition and more
Doors open at 11 am, and the Arts Centre will be filled with synth and modular manufacturers. You’ll be able to sample all the latest gear and chat with the makers. We’ll have various enthusiasts with all sorts of classic and interesting synths to look at. The Norwich Synth Club and representatives from EMOM will also be jamming in the bar area.
During the day, there will be performances on the stage in the auditorium, including the very exciting Steve Davis All-Star Modular Patch-off. This is a crazy idea where we get together a bunch of modular performers and draw names out of a hat to see who gets to play together. The chosen pair will improvise and collaborate in a completely unrehearsed and unscripted performance. It’s adding a randomisation factor to the musicians as well as the music.
We hope to have Gaz Williams, Sam Battle, Loula Yorke and more involved in this slightly madcap happening along with Steve and myself. It should be very interesting.
In the evening, we have a couple of really exciting acts to finish off the first Synth East. Kicking it off myself, and Steve will do a more intentional modular jam to warm people up. That will be followed by a set from Finlay Shakespeare, who you may know from Future Sound Systems. He does intense modular performances that are quite a thing to witness.
And then our headliner is Nik Colk Void:
Nik Colk Void is an electronic musician and artist with a vast reputation in experimental shapeshifting and collaboration. Void’s interests lie in the unconventional encounters with her tools, both analogue and digital, as a means of expression. Her key instruments are voice, guitar, and modular euro-rack systems engaging in a new language using extended technique and cut-up sampling through synthesis. As a result, the blends of her compositional tracks lean towards techno, club, experimental and noise.
That should be amazing.
Tickets are now available for both daytime and evening events separately or bundled together. The day event is £6.50, the evening is £12 or you can get both together for £15. Be aware that you will get kicked out for a couple of hours in between as the auditorium will need to be cleared for the gig.
It’s exciting to be involved in such an event, and it’s great to have something like this in the East of England. Hopefully, it will be the first of many.
- Synth East - All Stars: Synth East
- Nik Colk Void: Nik Colk Void