Trautonium. Saving digital knowledge from technology obsolescence.

October 2016

Talk length:

10:22

Preserving electronic music | Meg Travers | TEDxPerth

Is electronic music already in need of preservation? Two decades after the last surviving performers passed away, Meg Travers has recreated the first true synthesizer, the trautonium, and has learnt how to play it. 

The trautonium was most famously used in the legendary Alfred Hitchcock film "The Birds". In this talk, Meg performs "The Traut" live to the silent film Nosferatu (1922).

Meg Travers is a musician, geek, archivist, and digital preservation specialist. She has a passion for early electronic instruments and seeks to restore and preserve our understanding of these artefacts in the face of technology obsolescence.

She has degrees in music technology and is a qualified radio technician. She builds electronic musical instruments and creates soundscapes using ambient radio noise. She is the musical director of industrial/electronic ensemble MotET.

Meg Travers
Electronic Music Historian

Trautonium. Saving digital knowledge from technology obsolescence.

Meg Travers is a musician, geek, archivist, and digital preservation specialist. She has degrees in music technology and is a qualified radio technician, and has brought these two worlds together in building her own electronic musical instruments, as well as creating soundscapes crafted from the RF noises that are around us every day, but out of our audible range.

One of her current guises is as a PhD student at WAAPA, researching “ancient” electronic musical instruments, and how technology obsolescence impacts the performing arts, and is amassing a collection of early 20th century electronic musical instruments.

She is the musical director of industrial/electronic ensemble MotET, and a committee member of the Perth Artifactory.

She has worked in technology roles in arts and culture organisations for over 10 years, and currently works in digital preservation and archiving.