This display in the Australian Music Vault explores electronic music’s history

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This display in the Australian Music Vault explores electronic music’s history

Words by Staff Writer

The new display in the Australian Music Vault comes from Melbourne Electronic Sound Studio (MESS), a not for profit organisation that’s dedicated to the creation and preservation of electronic sound and machines.

Focused on allowing everyone access to electronic sound and music culture, the display at the Australian Music Vault reflects upon the documented history of electronic music in Australia. The display objects tell the story of the ground-breaking curriculum of Melbourne’s La Trobe University Music Department, the creative output of the Clifton Hill Community Music Centre, as well as instruments used by artists like Keith Humble, The Presets, Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds and B(if)tek.

The MESS collection holds instruments from many important moments in the history of electronic sound, highlighting this history of radical and original works of electronic music. As a living collection, all the instruments at MESS are available for everybody and anybody to play at their publicly accessible studio in North Melbourne.

What you need to know

  • MESS takes over a case in a free exhibition that’s on now at the Australian Music Vault, in Arts Centre Melbourne
  • The exhibit celebrates electronic music history in Australia and its incredible equipment
  • It’s open from 10am – 5pm every day with no bookings required

Keep up to date with Melbourne’s latest art events, exhibitions and performances here.

Providing musicians with the means to work beyond the boundaries of traditional music making, MESS has a world class collection of electronic instruments. With a focus on the preservation and accessibility of these machines, the studio have amassed a significant collection of over 500 rare electronic machines, with the instruments available for anyone to play at their publically accessible space in North Melbourne.


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A not-for-profit dedicated to supporting and encouraging the creation of electronic sound, MESS as a collective maintains electronic sound instruments and devices to preserve their history and make them accessible to the general public. Ensuring cultural diversity, particularly through their workshops, they aim to reflect the unique impact of Australian culture on electronic sound creation.

Catch MESS for free at the Australian Music Vault located at Arts Centre Melbourne. For more information, head here.

This article was made in partnership with Arts Centre Melbourne.