exploration | anarchive | sound | instrument

The Buchla Project

By: Marinos Koutsomichalis
Interrogating EMS' Buchla modular system.
exploration | anarchive | sound | instrument

The Buchla Project

Interrogating EMS’ Buchla modular system.

By: Marinos Koutsomichalis

Buchla Modular synthesis system


Produced by:
Marinos Koutsomichalis, with funding from Elektronmusikstudion EMS, Stockholm SE

Produced at:
Elektronmusikstudion EMS, Stockholm SE

Produced in:

Documented by:
Marinos Koutsomichalis

The legendary Buchla modular series of instruments have been designed by Don Buchla in Berkley US over the course of several decades. Don Buchla intended to make an electronic instrument that would create entirely new sounds – a decision reflected throughout the design of the series 200 and 200e modules that are unconventional in several respects. In tandem with the experimental/exploratory origins of the instrument – yet seen through contemporary lenses – ‘The Buchla Project project’ pivots on an unconditional interrogation of EMS studio4 Buchla modular system in all sorts of (im)possible. The project resulted in a digital database of numerous audio pieces of various durations and channel configurations (namely: mono, stereo, quad, 5.1 and 6-channel ones).

material interrogation of the machine

The resulting audio archive then becomes a record of the material interrogation of the machine. In a typical ‘anarchive’ fashion, this dataset has been used in many different contexts, pollinating several of the artist’s audio performances and studio works for the years to come. A few example tracks from the project are featured below,

  • Performance, Παράλογη Συλλογικότητα. Exposition Electropixel - Collectif Irationel; day 1, "Implosion". MADLab. Limassol, CY. (2022)
  • Exhibition, Synkopierten, Ohrenhoch der Geräuschladen. Berlin, DE (2014)
  • Performance, Noise in And as Music Conference; Phipps Hall. University of Huddersfield. Huddersfield, UK. (2013)
  • Performance, Sparkling Sound Festival; Kuppelsalen Dansekappellet. Copenhagen, DK. (2013)
  • Performance, Kirkelyd project; Korskirken church. Vallekilde, DK. (2013)
  • Performance, Implode Festival. Halkida, GR. (2013)
  • Performance, Moving Silence festival; Goethe Institute. Athens, GR. (2013)
  • Performance, A walk in the woods; Frown Tails. Athens, GR. (2012)