Modulisme: Paul Pignon (Audio)

Apr 03, 2024
Produced by Philippe Petit for his Modulisme platform supporting Modular Synthesis.

Paul Pignon was born and grew up in the UK. He began playing jazz at 15 and studied physics at Oxford. While there in 1961, he made his first forays into non-idiomatic improvisation and abandoned his Ph.D research at Oxford in favor of music. He moved to Yugoslavia and co-founded the Radio Belgrade Electronic Studio where he spent 14 years working with the Synthi 100, which was originally custom built for the Studio. He was active as composer of chamber, vocal electronic, and improvised music there, leading the group Interaction.

"After helping to found the Electronic Studio at Radio Belgrade I worked there for some 14 years teaching, making my own music, assisting other composers, and making incidental music and sound effects for various radio programmes, on the Synthi 100. I also wrote a comprehensive manual for the Synthi 100.

In about 1984 I produced a composition called "Mechanical Cartoons" and then one called "Play Me" where I began to develop what I now call Zoetic Engines. Essentially I make use of the vast number of patching configurations which the unique patch bay contruction of the Synthi 100 enables to create very unstable and reactive patches (circuits), which I since recently have begun to refer to as “creatures.” They can also be made sensitive to external stimuli; in the piece "Play Me" I was interacting with them via a microphone, playing the clarinet."

In 1986 he moved to Sweden, composing and developing computer music software at Elektronmusikstudion (EMS Stockholm). He was a member of FST and Fylkingen and was producer at Fylkingen 1988-1992. He has been active as composer of electronic and instrumental works, and real-time composer on single reeds, didgeridoo, recorders, voice, laptop; currently with BOP, BONON, 2+(with Liisa Pentti), Free Speech, The Great Learning Orchestra, and other ensembles in Sweden and abroad. He is currently chairperson of SEAMS and, until recently 2nd vice-chair person of Fylkingen.

For full show notes, visit Modulisme's site here.

Modulisme is a platform that aims to support original composing, for analog modular systems but not only… A radio program airing music made using modular systems… Each program lasts one hour and is especially dedicated to one composer and featuring some exclusive music made for us.

Furthermore, Modulisme also produces Early ElectroMIX shows to document the history of experimental Electronic music from the 50s to the 80s…