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Antenes Gives Switchboards a New Synthesized Life at Moogfest

“There’s just something that really appeals to me about the musician as the operator or the technician,” said NYC-based DJ, producer, and switchboard synthesizer performer, Antenes (Lori Napoleon), in the modular synthesizer documentary, “I Dream Of Wires.” Drawn to the world of this vintage telephone communications equipment, whose history dates back to the day when women operators played the part of communications maestros, Antenes has given dusty, forgotten machinery new life.

She first encountered this medium during a road trip, seeing an old switchboard in a lighthouse museum, and then again in an electronic music performance class at NYU. “There was this back area that had these old, dinosaur synths. Seeing the look of that Buchla with the image of that switchboard that I was so attracted to, there was just something that clicked; something that made sense to me that they resembled each other.”

Antenes’ infatuation with old telephone machinery evolved into a musical career by rebuilding a collection of blinking light boxes in her New York apartment, which now resembles one of the museums where she first found her passion. Taking her performances unique switchboard synthesizer show on the road, she’s held her signature space voyages in sound across multiple performance places, from Trinity College Dublin’s Science Gallery and Open House London’s Sonic Visitations at Beaconsfield Gallery, to residences at Harvestworks and Signal Culture in New York.

As part of Moogfest’s Hacking Sound (Systems) series, Antenes’ Exchange Project installation at The Carrack gallery will display vintage switchboards she’s converted into modular synthesizer systems, with a performance on Friday, May 20 from 6:30pm to 7:30pm.

Moogfest runs May 19 – 23 at various venues throughout Durham. Go to for more information, schedule, and tickets.


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