The Playroom An Interactive Synthesizer Space Needs Your Help!

The Playroom, a interactive Synthesizer space that invites you discover, play and record vintage and contemporary Synthesizers need you help on Kickstarter!

The history of Synthesizer and electronic music is bigger than you think. As early as 1935, Hammond organs had a technique reminiscent of classic Synthesizers. Near thirty years later in 1964 came the big step with the instruments of Robert Moog, known today under the name Moog Music. What came later is probably known by many synth friends but have you ever been able to play with these vintage instruments? Probably not many, and if so, then in virtual in the form of an emulation or even clone.

That’s what the SMEM (Swiss Museum & Center for Electronic Music Instruments) wants to change with their new project. Anyone who does not yet know the SMEM from Fribourg (Switzerland), it’s a non-profit organization that collects/buys, restores and display old synthsdrum machines, effects etc. in a kind of museum.

The Playroom Project

With the new founded Playroom project, they want to bring the Synthesizers… back to life and make them accessible to everyone: discover, play and record. The SMEM described it as: We want to create The Playroom, a place dedicated to learning about, playing with, and sharing the incredible history of electronic music instruments! 

The Playroom will be a beautiful open space created for people to take advantage of the huge SMEM (Swiss Museum & Center for Electronic Music Instruments) collection. Here we’ll also host lectures, workshops, classes, and more. And for a hands-on experience, The Playroom can be rented for private recordings, events, and parties.

Don’t Touch It To Please Play It!

In my opinion a very nice idea to show young and older people the world of electronic music with real instruments that you can play yourself. The project is so great because here the Synthesizer story is not just recorded in pictures/videos but it comes alive. You can play and experience them yourself. From “don’t touch it” to please play it!

I also like that they want to involve communities and create a place where people can meet with the same preferences. The coming together is encouraged here which is often a bit difficult point when many people live in other places. What the organisation is up to and why they are on Kickstarter, you read in the next paragraphs.

Kickstarter, Planning & Funding Goals!

The SMEM was founded as a non-profit organization in late 2016, and has already successfully raised funds for more than 5000 synths, effects, and organsynths for our collection. Now, we are asking for your help to cover the costs of creating The Playroom. If step one is to showcase our vast collection by making it accessible to everyone, then step two is where the magic happens: letting people play with it. The Playroom will be an accessible studio bringing the SMEM’s living heritage to a broad audience of musicians, students, performers, kids, and grown-ups.

If our Kickstarter is successful, we will open a beta version of The Playroom on the 1st of October 2018, and be fully open to the public in November. The funding will allow us to build the infrastructure of The Playroom, and set up the space to run it. The infrastructure will consist of wooden and modular workspaces in order to have the best hosting conditions possible. We first have to bear the installation costs: connectivity, lighting, security, electricity, etc… This implies substantial startup funding—in part due to the high cost of living in Switzerland, but also due to the quality we’re demanding.

In return, it will allow for incredible, unique experiences for years to com

Social Projects & Workshops

Of course, musicians will come to The Playroom to play and record the instruments. But The Playroom will also offer another exciting aspect—community. People will meet for a drink, chat over a book, look out the window, take a class, participate in exciting workshops and lectures, and young musicians will be able to use instruments they would otherwise never have access to. Creations will emerge. These reasons and many others are what push us to make The Playroom happen, and share even more of the SMEM’s fabulous collection.

The SMEM team will set up several workshops, talks and showcases each year; all of them spread across the collection and The Playroom. The SMEM is open for all, as it strives to be a place of experimentation, curiosity, and transmission of knowledge. We want not only for these events to be focused on the collection, but also to be inside a place with a bright, inspiring future.

Will the use of the playroom be free?

It would be impossible for The Playroom to last for more than 6 months if we offered free admission. However, the SMEM has, at heart, the wish to offer reasonable and appropriate rates. As an non-profit organization, our association will give all the benefits back to its users—either in the form of a price reduction, or in the improvement of The Playroom’s condition. For its most frequent users, subscriptions will allow access at a preferential rate. Also, because we know that the cost of living in Switzerland is high, we have tried to keep the prices as low as possible; thereby ensuring that people from abroad can afford to come.

The Kickstarter campaign is now online.

More information here: Kickstarter 

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