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Synth Satie

A performance by Robin Rimbaud (aka Scanner)

I half-joked when Robin Rimbaud (aka Scanner) posted this synthesizer cover of Erik Satie’s classic “Gnossienne No 1” to YouTube yesterday that it will, someday, be the theme song to a TV show. Half, because the drama he elicits from the melody is palpable. This is a more full-bodied rendition than a Satie performance usually engages in. It’s not remotely difficult to imagine a showrunner might appreciate the combination of antique composition and only slightly less antique technology (Scanner employed the Buchla Music Easel to record this), and how one works in service of the other. There is so much more going on at any given instant of this piece than would occur in, say, a solo piano rendition. The reverberations of the synthesized tones and the sheer breadth of coloration are remarkable. It’s been over half a century since Wendy Carlos’ classic Switched-On Bach. We’re long overdue for Switched-On Satie.

Video originally posted to Scanner’s YouTube channel. More from Scanner at

By Marc Weidenbaum

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