A symbol of wondersynth I’ve created is something I’ve taken to calling the wonderstroke. It is inspired by one of several forms of the medieval punctus interrogativus, modern erotemes or question marks, and the sine or sinusoidal wave of classic synthesis using an oscilloscope. I chose the query mark as the primary inspiration for wondersynth because I believe that a curious mind can best appreciate a sense of wonder. Confusion and frustration, combined with a rigid mind, leads to a lot of the detrimental attitudes that are an obstacle to sincere wondersynth.
The wonderstroke can also be represented with a square wave, triangle, or sawtooth wave instead of a sine wave shape. It can used as a symbol by itself, in place of a question mark, or as an alternative to the interrobang when wondersynth relevant media is discussed. It may also be represented upside down and at either side of a sentence – depending on your language of choice.
Wondersynth is a genre I’ve endeavored to create which reflects my musical style, and my philosophical approach to electronic music. For me, electronic synthesis has always been a wonderment, and I frequently find myself excited by new sounds that I’m able to produce. There’s a lot of cultural baggage and elitism in musical communities – especially those dedicated to synth; There’s far too many people taking themselves way too seriously instead of enjoying the strange delight of making alien and mysterious soundscapes.
My greatest inspirations for wondersynth are the original pioneers of electronic music. Long before distinctions were made between major genres like trance, techno, house and industrial, the first artists to produce music with these new sounds quite often embodied a great sense of adventurousness, experimentalism, boldness and even bravery in their music. Many of them put in a lot more time and money into creating the kinds of sounds we sometimes take for granted with modern software, and it seems like a such a waste to spend our time squabbling over trivial matters of production. Though to some it might seem like a better option to simply emulate the sound of these artists in a classic synth revival, I would rather embody the spirit of that music in a way that best honors the advantages they fought hard for us to enjoy in the modern day.
Wondersynth is electronic music that unapologetically embraces escapist philosophy, and therefore embodies optimism, adventurousness, a willingness to experiment, a deep love of fantasy, reverie, dreaming, and a healthy dose of humor. Wondersynth production uses modest, retro-inspired atmospheric synths, with a catchy beat, and is heavily melodic instrumental music, that has a repetitive, pop-inspired personality. Wondersynth draws heavily from classic electronic music, but also early trance, house, techno, and industrial, as well as eighties movie soundtracks, theme music, video game music, tracker music, and old-school midi.
Wondersynth is whimsical, and at times esoteric, by is ultimately genre neutral, and focuses more of the sense of awe and excitement that those settings evoke. Much like with chiptune, dungeon synth, synthwave, and vaporwave, there is a big emphasis, at least in part, on capturing childhood nostalgia, but without strict adherence to the technological constraints of any particular era or creative medium.
Wondersynth songs and albums can absolutely focus on particular genres, but it most excels when it encourages liminal, contemplative, and escapist experiences, and focuses on ideas that give ample opportunity for the listener to connect to the music, in a variety of different ways, without written language or heavy genre overtones.
Wondersynth is made for its own sake, and allows the listener to freely come up with their own impressions about it, instead of being guided by a particular agenda. Wondersynth is apolitical and anti-elitist, and welcomes people from all walks of life to experience genuine wonderment – without commentary or exclusion.
The atmospheres and aesthetics explored in wondersynth music have a mystical, ecstatic quality – both for the purposes of social engagment, personal transformation, and the exploration of raw human experience. But more than that, the very exploration of these eerie sounds, and their very alien context compared to the breadth of the history of human music, is otherworldly. Whether you are spiritual or not, listening to the music is a mystery to be engaged in for the sake of the journey – not in service to a particular critique of its contents.
Though electronic music can be used to abnegate, or let go of inhibition, the ultimate purpose of wondersynth is to embrace a wide variety of experiences, and find the existential meaning they bring to you. Finding what sound you most enjoy, with all the immense variety that’s available, is a journey that presents new and interesting challenges every time you find new beats.
Both when it comes to what gear musicians buy, and the kinds of outfits and accessories the fans wear or use, what you do with it, and how it expresses who you are is far more important. Though these things don’t have to be rigidly defined, there should be a very real sense of your intentions when you make such decisions.
No matter how deep and emotive and melancholic wondersynth can be, it is always rooted in a sense of joy and merriment at its core. In a world full of pessimism, the optimism and lively character of wondersynth exists in contrast to the current state of electronic music and pop culture as a whole.
Electronic music freely and broadly samples from various different cultures, attitudes, aesthetics, and ideologies. Though it may often be derivative, as long as it’s not hapharzardly vauge, those musicians and fans who stay true to this wondersynth ideal greatly benefit from it.
Though there are a lot of opinions about the particular values in electronic music, it ultimately does not fit neatly into any one particular ideology. Wondersynth music is less about any particular ideology and more about how one can mix concepts, manipulate boundaries, and explore impressions of new soundscapes.
Though the use of sampling, synth sounds, drum patterns and effects, can most certainly seem random, their use is rooted in experimentation – not only in the artists who create it, but in the fans who listen to it. One of the best elements of electronic music is that it is so incredibly diverse, and so open to cross-pollination by other genres, other ideas, and other people.
With music production, music fandoms, and technology as a whole, ultimately everything is a “patch” applied to something else. Emulation can be valuable – whether you’re creating a track, a look, and idea, or a piece of software, but only at a limited capacity. Modular thinking is much stronger, and more stable, and emulation should never be the entire focus.