The interface designs in analog synthesizers owe their lineage to switchboards created for the telephone industry to patch and transmit voices and signals.

The Exchange is the DIY analog studio and research project of electronics artist and musician Antenes(also known as Meridian7, the name assigned to the former Time Service operators), based in Brooklyn, New York. Her work brings original telephone equipment back to a life of patching signals again by transforming them into modular synthesizers and analog sequencers. This project stems from two personal experiences happening in quick succession:

  Telephone switchboard seen by chance in a tiny lighthouse museum in Escanaba, a rural town in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
  Buchla 100 modular synthesizer at NYU, as part of the electronic music synthesis class.  


  Escanaba MI
museum switchboard
  NYU Music Technology
While traveling in Michigan's remote Upper Peninsula, a small town called Escanaba's Historical Museum drew me in. Within its quiet walls stood the town's telephone exchange. There, alone and in awe, I found that the elaborate banks of switches, rows of patch bays, and cloth cables bore a striking resemblance to the some of the first synthesizers which I had been recently experimenting with, such as the Buchla 100. This moment sparked the desire to breathe new life into this long-silenced apparatus and explore where switchboard operation and musical synthesis overlap.