One thing leads to another. The BBC Archive recently shared a short film clip of Roger Limb demonstrating the EMS Synthi 100 in 1976.
In the replies to that tweet, I noticed a short video demonstrating the unusual dual envelope generator of the Synthi 100, and a search for more information on that led to a manual with a description.
That manual is hosted on the PIN Electronics & Ramcur site, manufacturer of the Hornet – an EMS VCS3 Putney clone. The site also has a blog, and among the entries I was very excited to find a post on the Belgian composer and media artist Peter Beyls, with reference to “the use of two EMS VCS3’s, communicating through a very long tape-delay-loop.” That is of course the Revox-Putney setup that Rob Hordijk has referred to as the inspiration for his Blippoo/Benjolin circuits and since Beyls used it as part of a series of mixed-media concerts we are even lucky enough to have some film documentation of it.1
I find the looseness of the mixed-media context, which reminds me in some ways of a wonderful Metamkine performance that I saw in Amsterdam many years ago, a fascinating insight into the origins of what would later become Hordijk’s ‘patch in a box’.