The Midium® is a dream come true for Erin and me––the founders––and for our little girl (and Chief Fun and Imagination Officer) Melody Nightingale Wednesday. We started building the company in 2016, and decided to go beyond our listings of pre-owned instruments on Reverb and build our own website featuring new electronic musical instruments, effects, and other such things. As we brought our idea for a carefully curated electronic musical instrument boutique to life, we sought unique brands and inventors whose instruments have special stories behind them. Émilie Gillet's Mutable Instruments was at the top of our list.
Through my time as an electronic musician composing music for film, video games, theatrical productions, and my own project called SINEDRIFTER, I had encountered the name "Mutable Instruments" many times. Several years prior to starting The Midium®, Erin actually bought me my first Mutable Instruments music machine: the MIDIpal. It was the perfect solution for an analog polyphonic synth I "arranged" (for lack of a better term) consisting of five analog monophonic synthesizers, where I needed to control them all from one master keyboard and assign a MIDI channel to each note I played to create a sort of polyphony. The MIDIpal was very well built and Émilie herself helped me program it to do exactly what I needed it to do. Its built-in sequencer was also a lot of fun, as was the game it included, which encouraged learning musical notes and their tones.
When the time came to choose the first brands/inventors for our curated collection, we reached out to Émilie via email in hopes that she would like to work with us. Adding how busy she was while running Mutable Instruments––so many hours of her day were devoted to answering emails from artists, designing and building modules, and other technical work along with the overall operation of her business––to the fact that we were still building a name for ourselves, we didn't quite know what to expect.
After her positive response and warm greeting, she wished us luck and invited us to place our first order! With the Beads about to come out, we were fortunate enough to order some of the final units she had left of her initial batch, and we sold out of them in one day. It was at this point that Erin and I knew that The Midium® could succeed by introducing new synths and electronic musical instruments to our collections.
At the time of this article's writing, Mutable Instruments lives on in the halls of electronic music history as a synth designer steeped in excellence that was run by one of our generation's greatest minds. Émilie Gillet's inventions, synths, and modules fill countless modular racks and skiffs around the United States and the world, as artists and modular synth enthusiasts everywhere play Mutable Instruments modules and use them for their art every day. My first module was a Mutable Instruments Beads, which was soon followed by a second one and a few other Mutable Instruments modules signed by Émilie as part of our Signature Edition collection. Those modules are now accompanied by a few other modules from other designers that fill a 104 HP modular skiff.
Émilie's work with Mutable Instruments inspired us to keep going with our dream, and her faith in us served as a prevailing wind. Her own story inspires me in many, many ways, and as we look back at the beginning of the relationship between The Midium® and Mutable Instruments, as well as the latter's sunsetting, we have so many reasons to thank Émilie. With gratitude for Mutable Instruments' role in both the lives of so many of our artists and the success of The Midium®, we dedicate this blog post to Émilie Gillet and the lovely instruments she designed and built for so long.
Thanks Émilie, for the inspiration. May you enjoy all that's to come on the Path of Enlightenment. :-)