As many synthheads know part of working with and owning esoteric gear is finding it. This frequently involves trades as well as buying and selling pieces, etc. In fact the acquisition of my 200e was only possible because I had acquired a Serge synth in various pieces over the past decade and someone wanted all of it for all of his Buchla system. Recently I posted one piece of my system for sale in order to raise some funds for other items. (A typical geek process - why use the money for something useful or necessary when you can buy more synths?!) I was thrilled when an acquaintance I highly respect wrote me to buy it. In the trading biz we call this "sending it to a good home" and I could think of no better place for this rare piece than with John Potter aka ether^ra.
The piece I sold was a Cyndustries Zero Oscillator in Buchla 200e format know as the ZOe. According to the official description: "The Zeroscillator is a full-featured electronic-music-quality analog VCO capable of linear frequency modulation through zero hertz and into negative frequencies". I have been a fan since they came out and in fact the owner of Cyndustries, Cynthia used one of my tracks in her first ZO promo video for NAMM back in 2007. (See and hear it here.)
Alas, esoteric, boutique instruments aren't always easy to come by. In this care the Buchla version ZOe was a highly limited edition to start with, had some quirks, and there have been months going on years of delays in releasing the next batch. Anyone interested in the saga can pop on the Muffwiggler forum to find out more but suffice to say, customer service and ordering woes aside the piece itself is a wonderful tool for sound creation. Since I already had a Zero Oscillator in my ModcanA system and I knew they were in demand my ZOe went on the chopping block.
It turns out all is well and the ZOe from my system is happy in it's new home and already making music (the whole point of all this geekery).
Here is John's first demo using the ZOe in his system:
Also be sure to follow his blog on music and art at: http://etherra.blogspot.com/
Finally, I wanted to post another page which is full of free MP3s using a Buchla. In addition to running Eardrill Chris Muir does some amazing music and all his pieces are worth a listen. I want to call special attention to one of my favorites, a cover of the Beatles song, "Blackbird" using a Buchla 200e system. Apparently this came about as a joke in response to some folks mentioning most demos of Buchla synths were more experimental in structure, noisy, and non melodic. I think this track combines the best of all those and is actually quite beautiful.