Kraftwerk-inspired album made with Minimoogs and synthesizers for Bletchley Park

By Culture24 Reporter Published: 25 April 2013

Inspired by Kraftwerk, mastered in Las Vegas and carrying the retro sound of magnetic tape, a new album of "authentic electronica", created by software programmers in support of Bletchley's National Museum of Computing, is about to be released to the world.

A photo of a line showing musical intonations
Jason Gorman – also known as the musician Apes with Hobbies – has composed Music By Programmers partly as a homage to visionaries of electronic music. It will also help towards the £5,000 cost of creating a computer programming club and music technology sessions for young people at Bletchley.

“It’s very much in the style of classic electronica of the 1970s and early 1980s, which would have been created using famous synthesizers like the Minimoog, Yamaha CS-80 and Oberheim SEM,” he says.

“But we’ve created all our tracks using software recreations of analogue synthesizers that model the circuitry with painstaking accuracy.

“I strongly believe that Bletchley Park and TNMOC can play a pivotal role in inspiring future tech innovators, which is why I'm such a keen supporter.”

Gorman previously organised a comedy show for the home of the heroic wartime Codebreakers at London’s Bloomsbury Theatre. This time, he persuaded an engineer called Steve, working at Nagasaki Sound in Las Vegas, to complete the recording in the style of tape sounds, despite using modern software.

The eight-track CD will be released on Monday (April 29). Proceeds will also be used to launch workshops helping parents to assist their children more effectively when it comes to potentially tricky maths homework.

“The museum’s learning programme for school groups is proving a huge success,” says Chris Monk, Bletchley Park’s Learning Co-ordinator, calling the idea “novel and very apt”.

“We want to extend these sorts of activities into an out of school hours programming club for young people.”

A temporary display accompanying the initiative, tracing the development of computer music since the 1950s through three vintage computers visitors will be able to get hands-on with, will open at the museum on May 4.

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