Matthew Bate

What The Future Sounded Like

Post-war Great Britain has reconstructed a series of scientific and industrial discoveries that culminated in the cultural revolution of the 1960s. It was a period of spectacular change and experimentation in which art and culture took part in social changes. In that atmosphere, the EMS electronic music studios were born, a radical, avant-garde group of electronic musicians who used technology and experimentation to compose electronic/futurist “soundscape” for the New Britain. Opening ways to new electronic musicians as Peter Zinovieff, Tristram Cary (the creator of the British series “Dr. Who”), and David Cockerell (coordinator), the EMS studios was known for working with the world’s most advanced computer-music technologies. The great legacy of EMS was VCS.3, the first synthesizer that rivaled the US Moog Synthesizer. VCS.3 has changed the whole form of creation of the most popular artists of the period, including Brian Eno, Hawkwind and Pink Floyd. Almost 30 years later, VCS.3 is still used by modern electronic artists, such as The Emperor Machine and Spicelab. The documentary “What The Future Sounded Like” presents a lost chapter in the history of electronic music, discovering and revealing an enormous group of composers and scientists who used the period’s technology to reinvent the limits of music and sound. Directed by Matthew Bate and produced by Claire Harris, in partnership with the Australian government (Australian Film Commission and Australian Broadcasting Corporation).