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This is a recent phototograph of the  "Midwestern Electronic Music Ensemble" or M.E.M.E.

Founded in March 1997 in Milwaukee (WI), M.E.M.E consist  of five members -and SERGE users: (From Left to Right): Darwin Grosse, Michael A. Firman, Grant Richter, John Papiewski and Andre' C. Stordeur.

On 3/21/98 we convened in Naperville (Illinois ) for an Equinox celebration.

This gathering was devoted mostly to group improvisation and we accomplished three extensive electronic conversations. We also documented this meeting by leaving a tape running throughout most of the interactions. Darwin graciously manned the mixing board and tape deck. Grant brought along some of his Wiard module prototypes including a completed Waveform City wave-table synthesis module (finished beautifully in blue with the trademark Celtic design adorning the front panel).

Below are a few snapshots taken at the meeting.

Serge Series'76

Serge Series'79 and prototype Series'81

9 panels Serge/STS

The Fourth Gathering

This meeting of M.E.M.E. consisted of three members: Michael Firman, Andre' C. Stordeur, and Grant Richter. We again convened in Naperville Illinois (on 5/9/98). During this meeting we concentrated on a piece composed by Darwin Grosse who submitted the score several meetings ago. The piece is titled "A Trip To Kidyu" and consists of a narrative to be realized on synthesizer. Descriptions of various actions and a timeline for these actions are provided in the piece. We constrained the piece to a duration of ten minutes and performed it using a darkroom clock to indicate when the actions should take place. We also used a Shakuhachi to realize one of the actions (an interpretation of a Japanese garden). This piece (and the musical portion of the meeting in general) was documented on both cassette and two tracks of an open-reel four track machine (this was done to facilitate the missing members adding their tracks later). We ended the music making section of the meeting by performing a rhythmic jam, clocking all three synthesizer setups with a Roland 606 (previously programmed by Darwin). Complementing the Serge equipment, Grant brought along some of his Wiard modules and a VCS3. We ended the festivities by experimenting with an EMS pitch follower to see if we could get the VCS3 to track the shakuhachi and a soprano saxophone.

Grant Richter's WIARD System and a VCS3

(Text and photographs by Michael A. Firman )

The Fifth Gathering

This meeting of M.E.M.E. consisted of four members: Michael Firman, Andre' Stordeur, Grant Richter, and Darwin Grosse. We convened in Milwaukee Wisconsin (on 6/20/98) for a Solstice M.E.M.E. gathering.

One of the highlights included the viewing of a video tape document of the original M.E.M.E. (consisting of Grant Richter, Dean Ireland, and ???) giving a public performance (done for a Milwaukee public access TV station) sometime in 1990.

As usual we spent time talking about compositions, compositional techniques, improvisational electronic music, equipment, recording, etc.

During this gathering we committed three improvisational realizations to tape.

Grant Richter and a Buchla Music Easel

(Text and photographs by Michael Firman)