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Camera Obscura: Rupert Cross on His Current Obsession
Music & Sound
London, UK
Air-Edel composer on his current obsession with the Pulsar-23 semi modular drum machine and crocodile clips

Air-Edel composer Rupert Cross studied music composition at the University of Southampton with Michael Finnissy where he won the Lytell Prize, the Edward Wood Award and achieved first class honors. He received a scholarship from the Laurin and Arthur Glaze Trust and the AHRC for postgraduate composition study with Julian Anderson at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where he achieved distinction.

Between 2010 and 2015 Rupert worked as an assistant and music programmer for Patrick Doyle at both Shepperton Studios and 20th Century Fox Studios in Los Angeles for the films Cinderella, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, Brave, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Thor, La Ligne Droite, Sarajevo and Sir Billi the Vet, the documentary Jig and the concert pieces Impressions of America and Tam O'Shanter.

His remix of Manureva by Alain Chamfort with Ivan Smagghe was used in the Chanel Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2016 by Karl Lagerfeld. He has also composed for films and collections of the designer Brooke Roberts.

Rupert has recently co-composed the original score for ‘101 Dalmatian Street’, whilst the latest Smagghe and Cross album ‘1819’ was released in 2020 on Offen Music. 

Rupert is currently working on a very exciting project that we look forward to announcing soon. 

LBB> What is your niche craft obsession?

Rupert> Currently I am obsessed by the Pulsar-23 semi modular drum machine from Soma Laboratory

LBB> Where/ when/ how did you first come across it? 

Rupert> I had been obsessed with modular synths for quite a while and was looking for a drum machine to compliment my setup. I saw this in a vid from Superbooth 2019 and it blew me away! It looked retro-futuristic and sounded phenomenal. 

LBB> Was it an obsession straight away or something that has evolved over the years?

Rupert> Love at first sight.

LBB> What are the most interesting debates or conversations you are having around the drum machine?

Rupert> Crocodile clips! Modular synths usually use 3.5mm jack cables but the Pulsar-23 uses crocodile clips to make connections. This is great because a) you can stack them and b) you can create connections using your fingers.

LBB> How widespread do you think this obsession is with your peers?

Rupert> An epidemic

LBB> Can you share any examples of work where the drum machine really came to the fore and elevated the final production?

Rupert> I’ve used the Pulsar-23 a lot in an upcoming AAA video game score as well as two EPs to be released later this year.

LBB> For anyone just getting into your field, what advice would you share to help them get their head around this particular thing?

Rupert> The manual and accompanying YouTube vids are excellent

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