A telecoms-inspired synth? It has a nice ring to it…

One of the most talked about performances from Moogfest was a set from Lori Napoleon, AKA Antenes, which featured performances on some almost familiar-looking vintage synths.

The above video from Evan Rodgers (Via Motherboard) shows the performance in full, with much of Antenes' setup being made up of homemade instruments crafted from repurposed telephone exchange equipment.

The switchboard synth, as Lori explains in the documentary I Dream of Wires, came from how she saw similarities between old telephone exchange equipment and modular synthesizers. During her studies in New York, she then set about converting the old bakelite-built communication gear into bespoke instruments.

The collection of upcycled telecom boards (ranging from desktop hotel switchboards to larger exchange machines) have been turned into a synthesizer, circuit bent voice-changer, sequencer, comb filter/oscillator module, and ring mod/distortion unit.

For more information and images of the Exchange studio go to the Meridian7 website.

Simon Arblaster
Video Producer & Reviews Editor

I take care of the reviews on MusicRadar and Future Music magazine, though can sometimes be spotted in front of a camera talking little sense in the presence of real musicians. For the past 30 years, I have been unable to decide on which instrument to master, so haven't bothered. Currently, a lover of all things high-gain in the guitar stakes and never one to resist churning out sub-standard funky breaks, the likes of which you'll never hear.