Tristram Cary, Trios for Synthi VCS3, synthesizer and turntables

Trios LP cover.tif
Trios score detail.jpg

Dublin Core


Tristram Cary, Trios for Synthi VCS3, synthesizer and turntables


Trios was essentially a musical game of chance, where three performers play a unique musical event, with content drawn from 16 ‘Events’ pre-created by Cary. The game is played by three players, one playing a VCS3, and the other two using DUAL turntables. Tracks on the records are selected and played according to the throw of a pair of dice. One performer would operate the VCS3 synthesiser and mixer as a live treatment. Every performance of the work was uniquely different, typically lasting between nine and 15 minutes, with each performance achieving a different effect – some more dynamic, some more tranquil. Trios was first performed at the Cheltenham Festival, 1971, the VCS3 part taken by the composer and the turntable parts by Cary’s sons John and Robert.

This score, supplied with the LP recording of Trios, was also a clever marketing exercise by EMS, encouraging and assisting early users of the VCS3 to exploit the full potential of the instrument.



EMS London




On loan to the Grainger Museum from David Collins


Copyright Tristram Cary Estate and EMS