Google have launched a massive interactive electronic music exhibition

Subscribe to Mixdown Magazine


Google have launched a massive interactive electronic music exhibition

TONTO - Photo by the National Music Centre in Canada
Words by Will Brewster

MESS, Sydney Opera House, XL Recordings and The Bob Moog Foundation contributed to the project.

Google’s Arts & Culture Lab have launched a new virtual exhibit titled Music, Makers & Machines, collaborating with over 50 labels, festivals and music archives from around the world to enshrine the story of electronic music.

Designed in collaboration with a host of musical bodies, including the Melbourne Electronic Sound Studio, Sydney Opera House, Berlin Museum of Musical Instruments, XL Recordings, Chicago History Museum, National Music Centre in Canada, Amsterdam Dance Event, Bob Moog Foundation and more, the immersive virtual platform compiles an extensive library of over 13,000 images, 200 exhibitions, 3D renders and 360-degree scans to provide an augmented reality experience unlike any other.

In addition to spotlighting classic synths, drum machines and other gear that kicked down the door for the electronic genre, Music, Makers & Machines places an emphasis on the cities, festivals, venues and artists that are synonymous with the story of electronic music.

The real kicker here, however, is the addition of Google’s AR Synth – a virtual experiment from the Google Arts & Culture Lab that lets you interact with a handful of vintage synths and samplers from the Swiss Museum for Electronic Music (SMEM).

Users can utilise Google’s AR feature to explore the sounds and features of classics such as the ARP Odyssey, Moog Memorymoog, Roland CR78, Akai S900 and Fairlight CMI, with each device being equipped with a randomiser-equipped 16-step sequencer that boasts the ability to input your own notes.

There’s also 3D scans of 22 other units from SMEM’s collection that you can view, including the Roland SH-101, TR-808 and TR-909, Yamaha CS-80, Korg MS-20, E-mu Emulator II, Oberheim OB-8, the Akai MPC60 and more, as well as full-scale explorations into revered custom-built synths like Stevie Wonder’s TONTO.

“I’m proud that from today on, record labels and cultural institutions from all around the world are telling the history of electronic music on Google Arts & Culture,” Amit Sood, the director of Google’s Arts & Culture Lab, said in a statement today.

“Learning about the music, the makers and the machines behind the tunes we love rekindles my appreciation for the movement’s impact on our lives.”

Explore the Music, Makers and Machines exhibition in full via Google.