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Baloise Session Backline Blog

Instruments-Knowledge #1

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Its sound defines modern pop and rock music. Live concerts today are inconceivable without it: the synthesiser. This electronic wonder instrument, which can imitate almost any sound imaginable and even produce completely new sounds, is a child of the development of computer technology. It dates back to the 1950s of the last century. Its inventors were resourceful electronic tinkerers like the American physicist Robert Moog, whose name is still synonymous with what is probably the most iconic synthesiser with a unique sound. This fascinating musical instrument also plays an important role in jazz. This is proven by one of the most exciting formations of our time, who will perform as a big highlight at the Baloise Session on 10 November: Snarky Puppy from the USA. The electronic variety of sounds and the synthesiser solos that the keyboardists of Snarky Puppy embed in the band's high-calibre sound are among the most innovative of the current jazz scene. But what exactly is a synthesiser? And what makes it such an exciting instrument musically? In its third edition, the Backline Blog of the Baloise Session is a guest in the studio of the eminent Swiss jazz musician, composer, lecturer and pioneer of electronic music Bruno Spoerri, who is highly respected throughout the world and still active at the age of 87. Even the world-famous hip-hop producer Jay-Z used a sample from him in the song Song Ā«VersusĀ»! The Basel native tells us how everything started with the synthesiser, why it is so important for jazz, what he likes about Snarky Puppy and what the future of computer music might look like.

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