Rare instrument currently being restored in Leicester

One of the remaining ‘Synthi 100’ instruments is currently being restored in Leicester, by a team of experts.

The instrument, which is a large analogue synthesizer, was created by the Electronic Music Studios in the early 70’s and is one of only three currently in existence.

Mark Towers, restoration project leader, said: “Working on this project will be the ultimate gift for us and the opportunity to use our combined knowledge, passion and expertise for something we truly care about.”

The project aims to restore the Synthi 100 to its original state whilst also being used to encourage educational activities on the instruments heritage.

Jason Mawby, a fully qualified electrical and electronic engineer, has been carrying out the technical side of restoration for two months, whilst a team of three will help run events and activities once the instrument is fully restored.

Mark hopes that restoration will be completed early next year, when the Synthi 100 will be up and running for practical use.

The historical item will be open to public viewing, however the main focus will be with related subject areas in colleges and universities in the Midlands.

The public will also be able to view the fully-documented restoration process via online archives upon the project’s completion.

Mark, who is also a music technology lecturer at Leicester College, said: “Bringing the legacy of Britain’s rich heritage of music technology to the public consciousness is our main goal in this project.”

The synthesizer is the last one in existence in the UK, however electronic musician and producer Aphex Twin is also known to own one.

Mark said: “The other is owned by either Pete Townsend or Daniel Miller from Mute Records. Either way all prominent figures in the music industry and we are very excited to be running this project.”

The Synthi 100 acquired by the team was previously owned by someone who became unable to carry out the remaining restoration work.

The project is being carried out in Krafthaus Arts Centre, Market Place, which is also currently being transformed.

The team have transformed the first floor of the ex-regency period café into a multipurpose space for meetings and performances, however they are also constructing studio spaces and facilities.

 

 

By Mollie Mansfield

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