R160m home for National Library

first_img13 December 2004Queuing to gain access to South Africa’s National Library will be a thing of the past when a state-of-the-art R160-million building opens in Pretoria’s city centre in 2007.The library will become the focal point of a Government Boulevard linking new government buildings and other historic sites with the Union Buildings, and form part of the rejuvenation of downtown Pretoria.Construction on the four-storey, 2 700 square metre building will start in January 2005 and is due to be completed in 2007.The new facility will feature a raised public piazza leading to its entrance, steel and glass covered walkways and ramps, double-volume reading rooms with views onto the streets, and conveyer belts linking the different sections to ease the movement of books.Architect Jeremie Malan told Business Day that the design of the building would allow 60% of the space to be used as book stack rooms “with the best air-conditioning systems, keeping temperatures at an optimal 18 degrees Celcius and 40%-50% humidity”.Speaking at a sod-turning ceremony on 3 December, Arts and Culture Minister Pallo Jordan said the modern glass-and-brick building would reflect the dynamic future of the National Library of South Africa.“The National Library building will add a new and exciting dimension to the capital of South Africa, while revitalising the CBD and providing a much-needed investment of capital, human resources and future activity”, Jordan said.The National Library came into existence through the merger in 1999 of the former state library in Pretoria and the former South African library in Cape Town.The new Pretoria branch will provide approximately 1 800 seats compared to the 130 presently offered by the existing facility.The National Library is the custodian of the country’s documentary heritage, receiving – in terms of the Legal Deposit Act – a copy of every book, magazine, newspaper, government document and any other document published in South Africa.The library has a collection of over three million items from legal deposits, donations, and exchange agreements, and is a primary resource for researchers, writers, students and the general public.The new building is expected to store over 3.5-million documents over the next 20 years.“This will be the largest and most modern library on the continent”, said National Librarion John Tsebe.SouthAfrica.info reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

R220m investment in Durban beachfront

first_img9 April 2013 South African hotel and casino operator Tsogo Sun is to invest R220-million in Durban’s famed “Golden Mile” through refurbishing and combining its Southern Sun Elangeni and Southern Sun North Beach hotels into one complex, the Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani. Tsogo Sun’s investment was “a direct response to the substantial investment into the revival of the Durban beachfront promenade by the eThekwini Municipality,” Tsogo Sun CEO Marcel von Aulock said in a statement last week. eThekwini Mayor James Nxumalo welcomed Tsogo Sun’s announcement, saying “there is so much good news to be told about the renewal of the city – with corporates coming back to the city centre, the International Convention Centre’s status as a leading convention centre in the country, the rescue of the iconic Durban Country Club, and the location of the Moses Mabhida stadium all contributing to the revitalisation of the city”. According to Tsogo Sun, the first phase of the project, which will be completed in May, will include the total refurbishment of the Maharani Tower, substantial new food and beverage offerings within the Elangeni Tower, and the renovation of the external building facades. The second phase will see the opening in the third quarter of 2013 of The Camelot Spa, featuring five treatment rooms, a double treatment room with a hydro therapy bath and a Himalayan salt room in the Elangeni Tower. The historic Raffles area is being transformed into a multi-purpose venue on top of the Maharani Tower available for conferences, launches and themed evenings with breathtaking views. The final phase will include a refurbishment of the Elangeni rooms and additional public areas. The Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani complex will boast 734 bedrooms, two gyms, three swimming pools, 17 meeting and conference rooms, two business centres, and 11 restaurants and bars offering a variety of a la carte and buffet meal options. The restaurants will include new offerings ranging from The Grill Jichana, “a modern and stylish grillhHouse with great food in a convivial ambience”, the Panorama Bar & Pool Deck, “a bar and light food zone with views of the coastline, serving cocktails, mezes, ice creams, granitas and light meals throughout the day”, and the Ocean Breeze Restaurant, “a laid-back Indian Ocean Island styled restaurant with a view second to none”. Visitors will still be able to enjoy old favourites such as Japanese restaurant Daruma, Piatto Mediterranean Kitchen, and the Lingela Restaurant, “one of the top traditional buffet restaurants in the country”. “We have great confidence in Durban, and it is our sincere belief that we have a responsibility to support the City to ensure that it achieves its full potential as the premier leisure and event city in South Africa,” said Von Aulock. “We believe that the positioning of the Southern Sun Elangeni and Maharani hotel complex combined with quality offerings and service will breathe new energy, life and soul into the Durban beachfront.” SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Small-scale farms grow African women’s income

first_imgKenalemang Kgoroeadira is just happy that she is able to live her dream of providing healthy food to her community.(Image: eNCA) • Kenalemang Kgoroeadira Thojane Organic Farm +27 11 882 8983 • Oyama Matomela flies South Africa’s friendly skies • Sir Stuart Ntlathi: an inspiring passion for science • I Decide – give African women and girls access to contraception • Nontsikelelo Qwelane is a born teacher • Former Miss Earth South Africa on M&G Top 200 list Sulaiman PhilipThere are some 36 000 commercial farmers in South Africa; they are in the main white and male. Yet, historically, Africa has been a continent of small-scale, subsistence farming where women crofter farmers have kept the food supply secure for their families and communities.Now, a small – barely two hectares – organic farm in the North West Province is trying to revive that tradition. Kenalemang Kgoroeadira – or Mama Kena – a PhD student at University of South Africa (Unisa), who conceptualised the project, hopes Thojane Organic Farm will grow into a working example of small-scale sustainable farming that gives local residents access to healthy food. Building communities using traditional African knowledgeKgoroeadira and five other local women planted the first crops in 2009 on a single hectare plot. As an indigenous knowledge systems PhD candidate she wanted her neighbours to rebuild their communities using traditional African knowledge. “Transformation by enlargement is the vision behind this farm … [It’s] a place where people can have self-determination and begin to live like Africans, where what you do or learn is for the benefit of the whole society.“It is knowledge that can benefit the whole nation,” Kgoroeadira told a Unisa journal.Along with organic green beans, spinach and tomatoes, the farm produces herbs – mint, yarrow, lemongrass, lavender – that are sold at local markets, to national retailers like Food Lovers Market. It also donates produce to feeding schemes at the local Phokeng schools.Produce from Thojane is grown without chemicals that strip the soil of its nutrients. Instead Kgoroeadira and her team use natural fertilisers like chicken manure. This method of farming is, Kgoroeadira believes, the most sustainable. It follows permaculture principles, which works with rather than against nature.Kgoroeadira says, “It has always been my dream to go back to my roots, plough, interact with the soil like I used to as a girl, growing food, healthy organic food, not foods that are fed with chemicals for them to grow fast, losing all the nutrients.” Fighting poverty through food securityThojane is also Mama Kena’s schoolroom. It is where she takes all she has learnt and uses it to benefit her community. She encourages the women of Phokeng to plough their large back yards and turn them into vegetable gardens that can feed their families and give them an income. “In Phokeng, people are dependent on the mines, but they forget that platinum will be depleted one day. We need to fight poverty and have our own food security,” she says.Her thesis advisor inspired her to take her “book knowledge” and build something tangible and real, something that would benefit her community and not simply become a book covered in dust on a library shelf. Thojane has become that, but for Kgoroeadira it is just the beginning. Looking out over two hectares of vegetables and herbs she sees more.“One day this farm will supply all the hospitals, mines and even international markets. We will grow organic vegetables and herbs; there will be honey, mutton, indigenous chickens and eggs. You will be able to buy essential oils, herbal teas, bath soaps and creams with a Thojane label. One day.”Her dream is no pipe one: what began as a small agricultural co-op has grown into an award-winning programme with Kgoroeadira being named Best Female Subsistence Farmer by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, and Thojane has not only improved food security in Phokeng, but also increased the nutritional content of the food the poorest in the community eat. It is changing lives, one meal at a time.last_img read more

Gwynne area at FSR features abundant topics

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Millions of ash trees have died in Ohio, meaning millions of chances exist for Ohioans to cut them down with chainsaws.A series of talks at Farm Science Review will show how to do it safely. The series, called “Chainsaw Safety and Maintenance,” will be given three times in the Review’s Gwynne Conservation Area: on Sept. 20 and Sept. 21 from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.; and on Sept. 22 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.“With all the dead and dying ash trees out there” — no thanks to the emerald ash borer pest — “I really wanted to see an opportunity for landowners to learn how to use their chainsaws the right way,” said Kathy Smith, a co-organizer of the series and of more than four dozen other talks in the Gwynne area during the Review.She’s the forestry program director in the School of Environment and Natural Resources at The Ohio State University.“A chainsaw is an easy tool to use,” she said, “and an even easier one to misuse and end up severely hurt.”Talks in the Gwynne area — 67 acres of green space with forests, ponds and prairie — will focus on conservation topics of interest to farmers and others, including trees, pastures, grasslands, wetlands, wildlife, insects, water and fish. Among the speakers and topics are:• Dave Apsley of OSU Extension and Bob Mulligan of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources will present “Things You Should Consider Before Selling Your Timber” from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Sept. 20 and at the same time Sept. 21.• Joe Boggs of OSU Extension will give a “Zika Virus Update for Ohio” from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Sept. 20. Zika is a mosquito-transmitted virus of concern in Central and South America, the Caribbean, and increasingly in the southeast U.S.• Marne Titchenell of OSU Extension will discuss “Attracting Songbirds to Your Property” from 2:30 to 3 p.m. Sept. 20.• Bill Lynch, who’s retired from OSU Extension, will look at “Fish Stocking in Ponds” from 10:30 to 11 a.m. and “Stormwater Ponds” from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., both on Sept. 21.• Lee Beers of OSU Extension will present “Low-Impact Logging: Is It Right for You?” from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Sept. 21.• Brian Kleinke and Matt Smith, both of OSU Extension, will talk about hydroponics and aquaponics in back-to-back sessions from 2 to 3 p.m. Sept. 21.• Chris Penrose of OSU Extension will explain “Managing Nutrients on Pasture” from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Sept. 22.• Smith herself will lead a “Tree ID Walk” from 11 a.m. to noon Sept. 22.Other topics will include composting, pollinators, pond aeration, invasive species, wildlife “night sounds,” deer exclusion fencing and grazing warm-season grasses. A complete schedule of all the Gwynne talks is atgo.osu.edu/2016Gwynne.Besides the chainsaw series, activities held every day in the area will include pasture and grassland management tours from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.; “Soil and Water Conservation District National Archery Program for Schools-Type Archery” from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and “Preparing for the Envirothon” from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. Envirothon is a national competition testing high school students’ knowledge of soils, forestry, wildlife and related topics.“I think what most (Review-goers) enjoy about the Gwynne is the opportunity to interact with resource people on specific topics, see some of those topics applied on the landscape, and get answers to their management questions,” Smith said. “There aren’t a lot of opportunities like this available — ones where you can cover a wide range of topics in a small area.”last_img read more

An AgriCountry Thanksgiving

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The holidays are a time to reflect on years past. In that spirit, we’ve gone through our archives to find a special Thanksgiving piece of AgriCountry with Ed Johnson.We hope you enjoy this look into holiday preparation in 1983 — and from all of us at Ohio Ag Net & Ohio’s Country Journal, Happy Holidays!last_img

Illegal Immigration: There’s an App for That

first_imgThe application is currently in an alpha state of development. Dominguez hopes that, through working with Mexican communities, churches, and other organizations, the app will be ready to use soon.So, what do our readers think? Is this Dominguez a political dissident or a legitimate academic researcher – or both? And is a mobile app enabling illegal Mexican immigration to the U.S. a live-saving tool for those who seek better opportunities, or is it simply another law-breaking tool developed by tech hackers for life hackers, a workaround to cheat the system? Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts jolie odell Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… From a group calling themselves Electronic Civil Disobedience comes the Transborder Immigrant Tool, a simple mobile application intended to aid and abet border-crossers from Mexico to the United States by mapping the safest routes to take.This GPS app is built to work on the cheapest cell phones available. It brings to mind every petty-but-illegal transgression the casual user could commit and stretches the boundaries of the permissibility of tech’s uses for plausibly illegal means. The next time you use P2P or bit torrent clients to download media or use an iPhone app to detect police radars, think about this mobile application and how it reflects on American law and the Internet. UPDATE: According to the Transborder Immigration Tool website, the application uses Spatial Data Systems and GPS “for simulation, surveillance, resource allocation, management of cooperative networks and pre-movement pattern modeling (such as the Virtual Hiker Algorithm) an algorithm that maps out a potential or suggested trail for real a hiker/or hikers to follow.” In addition to allowing would-be illegal immigrants quick and simple access to map information, the application’s creators hope it will “add an intelligent agent algorithm that would parse out the best routes and trails on that day and hour for immigrants to cross this vertiginous landscape as safely as possible.”On startup, the app finds GPS satellites. Once the user begins moving, the app acts as a compass that shows the direction the user is heading and also shows the direction a user must travel to reach a “safety site.”The app seems to originate from a hacktivist group out of UCSD – hardly a historical hotbed of technological innovation, but close enough to the US-Mexican border to have a significant impact on the politics of technology in that area. The group also advocates DDoS-like digital sit-ins to bog down the resources of websites it deems offensive.In an interview with Vice Magazine, the app’s creator, Ricardo Dominguez, said, “We looked at the Motorola i455 cell phone, which is under $30, available even cheaper on eBay, and includes a free GPS applet. We were able to crack it and create a simple compass-like navigation system. We were also able to add other information, like where to find water left by the Border Angels, where to find Quaker help centers that will wrap your feet, how far you are from the highway – things to make the application really benefit individuals who are crossing the border.”Hundreds of would-be immigrants are killed each year while trying to enter the United States.Check out this Border Patrol YouTube video on the newly installed double-layered fencing between the U.S. and Mexico, a fence that stretches between 700 and 800 miles along the Rio Grande. Tags:#web 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Direct-Gain Passive Solar Heating

first_imgOver the past two weeks I’ve written about two relatively obscure passive solar heating strategies: isolated gain using sunspaces; and indirect gain using a Trombe walls. This week I’ll cover a far more common and cost-effective approach: direct-gain.Direct-gain passive solar systems rely on south-facing windows to bring solar energy directly into a house. That sunlight is absorbed by materials in the house (the floor, walls, furniture, etc.), which warm up, store some of that heat, and re-radiate it back into the room, warming the space.One way of looking at this is that the house itself serves as the solar collector and heat-storage system. There are no fans or pumps to move heated air or water around. The systems are silent, trouble-free, and easy to maintain — by washing windows and, in some cases, opening and closing window blinds to adjust incoming solar gain.The thermal storage function is most effective with high-mass materials, such as tile or concrete floors, fireplaces with brick or stone facings, and tinted plaster walls. These materials keep the space from getting too hot during the day, and they continue radiating warmth into the living space in the evening.The key to success with direct-gain passive solar heating is to provide the right amount of south-facing glass area and to couple that glass with adequate thermal mass. If too much glazing is installed, the space will overheat on sunny days. The better insulated the house, the less glazing can be installed before overheating becomes a concern.Back when I was involved in passive solar energy in the late-1970s in New Mexico, there were lots of examples of houses being built with the best of intentions, but with way too much south-facing glass. They were like greenhouses on sunny days and, because the glazing was only double-glazed without low-emissivity (low-e) coatings, there was a lot of heat loss through that glass at night. The houses greatly fluctuated in temperature.As we’ve learned more about the energy dynamics of homes, we’ve learned that it makes sense to use higher levels of insulation with reduced glazing areas. Better-insulated houses don’t require as much solar gain to provide a significant fraction of the heating needs, and the careful balancing of insulation, glazing, and thermal mass can avoid those temperature fluctuations that were such a problem in the past.To do this requires advanced energy modeling software. Fortunately, such programs are readily available today, including Energy 10, Energy Plus, and REM Design. These programs account for insulation levels, window area, glazing type, and thermal mass. Don’t consider designing a direct-gain, passive-solar house today without using such a modeling program; make sure your designer has access to such capabilities. This is key to success.In addition to this Energy Solutions blog, Alex contributes to the weekly blog BuildingGreen’s Product of the Week, which profiles an interesting new green building product each week. He is founder of BuildingGreen, Inc. and executive editor of Environmental Building News. To keep up with his latest articles and musings, you can sign up for his Twitter feed.last_img read more

Nick Yates Says Robotic Technology Is Poised to Disrupt Even Vending Machines

first_imgTags:#automation#robots#technology In recent years, a lot of media coverage has been devoted to discussing how quickly robots will take our jobs away — and how many of us will be affected. With dire predictions about robots eating up 800 million jobs by 2030, even the most unassuming observers pin the robot job takeover as taking place within the next four decades.But that’s not the real story here: The real story is how much robots will automate and take on, freeing us up to do the things that require human input. While some jobs likely will disappear as robotic technology finds ways to streamline them and make them no-brainers, we’ll find new ways to allocate robot resources to manage the things we don’t want to handle.An example of how robotic automation can make our industries more productive and less taxing can be found in vending machines. While these sales platforms may seem simple on the surface, they offer a glimpse into how robots can help us construct the future to be less taxing, but more purposeful, for human beings.Eliminating Mindlessness in Favor of ThoughtfulnessNick Yates is the founder and CEO of Generation NEXT Franchise Brands, which builds the automatic machines that deliver frozen yogurt and ice cream in stores. With more than $130 million in franchise and licensing contracts across more than 230 locations, Yates has seen his company grow very quickly.Yates says his company’s experience is that most businesses are using robotics as a powerful tool to support their customer service strategies. “By having robots pack boxes quicker, or perhaps provide answers to simple questions for customers, a business owner can find more productive and efficient ways to use the actual human employee who has a better set of skills that should be taken advantage of,” he explains.It’s important to make a distinction between work that requires insights and work that requires speed: Streamlining is incredibly helpful for the latter but stifling for the former. “Things that enhance productivity, including robots, are what cause economies to grow and for us all to get wealthier on average,” Yates says, “but this is a world where the average may not mean what it used to because it’s a world in which there will be wider gaps between the skilled and unskilled, between those with and without jobs.”That means we need to carefully rethink how we can best make use of the resources we have: How can we eliminate work that can be automated? How can we position our companies to rely more heavily on human workers’ critical thinking skills than their manual labor?Automating Vending Through RobotsYates’ company believes it’s found the solution for the manual vending machine industry: automated robots that deliver frozen yogurt and ice cream. Its robots dispense and serve frozen treats to customers in locations that already capture high levels of foot traffic, but the experience is unique in that customers can order from a digital user interface. That interface provides a selection of up to six flavors and up to six different toppings, preparing the desserts fresh in fewer than 60 seconds.Yates says that the ice cream-dispensing robots are de facto entertainers as well, dancing and playing music while displaying animation on their screens. This enhances the customer experience — especially for its under-18 audience — and creates engagement, despite the absence of a human ice cream slinger.These unattended robots are disruptive agents in a heavily service-focused industry. “The industry has been dominated by retail franchises that require traditional brick-and-mortar infrastructures that, unfortunately, now struggle because the cost of labor has increased to a point where it doesn’t make much business sense for the owner/operator,” Yates says. “Vending ice cream that’s delivered fresh to order has never been done before. We saw an opportunity to disrupt and ran with it.”While many in the food and beverage industry may argue that the customer service experience is the entire marketing platform for restaurants and other food vendors, the growth of Yates’ model shows that humans aren’t put off by customer service presented by a robotic provider. And the model can enable scale that’s not currently cost-effective for most labor-intensive restaurants and food vendors. By repositioning human labor to focus on developing and testing products, food providers can gain flexibility in preparation and distribution, allowing them to even infiltrate difficult-to-crack outlets like stadiums.What This Means for the FutureWhile robotic technology was out of reach for many businesses, thanks to their prohibitive cost structures, that’s no longer the case. Yates points out that the technology is getting more affordable as more players enter the space. “Reliability, however, is still questionable,” he says. “As the technology evolves, the cost will drop until we get to a point where buying robots to cook, clean, serve ice cream, or do any task on a consumer level is affordable for everyone.”Yates acknowledges that incorporating robotic technology isn’t easy for any entrepreneur, but it’s worth the effort if the industry — and company — stands to benefit. “Every industry needs someone willing to be the disruptive force that moves the entire group forward,” he says. “A lot of people are wary of robots and not willing to trust them, but it’s important to remember that we control robotic technology and have a say over how it works for us.”That control, he admits, can sometimes seem elusive: “Robots can be sensitive and require the best software to operate them well,” he cautions. “Be sure to combine technologies to get the best result.”While society has long predicted that robots will take over jobs in a deflated, conciliatory tone, it might be time to look at this job loss as a celebration. As robots automate everything from security to vending, they enable humans to put their full effort into the things only they can do.     Related Posts Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Brad AndersonEditor In Chief at ReadWrite What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Trends Driving the Loyalty Marketing Industry Follow the Puck Brad is the editor overseeing contributed content at ReadWrite.com. He previously worked as an editor at PayPal and Crunchbase. You can reach him at brad at readwrite.com. last_img read more

The History of Synth Music in TV and Film

first_imgThe synthesizer revolutionized music in the 1980s. Since then, TV and film have effectively used the instrument to instantly create nostalgic connections in their soundtracks. Let’s take a look at some of the most notable throughout TV and film history.Cover image via ShutterstockThe history of synthesized music can be traced back to the late 19th century, but it wasn’t until American inventor Robert Moog’s breakthrough in voltage-controlled oscillation combined with amplification and a keyboard that we first heard the familiar sounds of a voltage-controlled synthesizer in the 1960s.It would take another couple of decades of technological innovations until the Minimoog Model D would be mass-manufactured and released to fully assimilate the synth sound into mainstream music and culture.Once the technology became available to musicians everywhere, it didn’t take long for the sound to make its way into television and film. While there are a few notable experimentations in the decades before, the first wave of synth music didn’t hit until the late 1970s and ran heavily in the 1980s. Since then, the sound has come in and out of popularity, but has remained consistent in the aural aesthetic which connects it with the era it first rose to prominence. Without further ado, here are some of the best synth soundtracks throughout recent history.Apocalypse Now (1979)While Francis Ford Coppola’s Vietnam classic will always be remembered for “the horrors” of its production and Marlon Brando’s Heart of Darkness ramblings, the Moog-heavy soundtrack is often overlooked despite the dark and sporadic soundscape it creates throughout.Francis Ford Coppola’s father, Carmine Coppola (an accomplished flautist and composer who won an Oscar for scoring The Godfather), worked with Coppola throughout the chaotic production to create a new synthesized sound in the style of experimental Japanese synthesist Isao Tomita.The overall product became a hybrid soundtrack heavy on Moog dynamics and punctuated by the aptly named closing track by The Doors, “The End.” Knight Rider (1982)By 1982, synth soundtracks were all the rage, being heavily used in notable big-screen soundtracks like Blade Runner, The Fog and American Gigolo. However, as the revolution continued, mainstream television began to pick up on and capitalize on the trend.Perhaps no television soundtrack is more recognizable (and notably synth) than the opening theme song to Knight Rider, which features a pulsing synth backdrop to the show’s techy-and-cool style.Manhunter (1986)As the synthesizer continued to become more popular, other models outside of the Moog began to work their way into film and TV. For Michael Mann’s 1986 feature hit Manhunter, composer Michel Rubini began to use polyphonic synthesized sounds through sampling systems like the Synclavier II which could create rich chords and layers behind other instruments and solo synths. The Manhunter soundtrack would go on to be one of the most most highly praised soundtracks of the 80s and cited as a soundtrack which “dominated the film.”Twin Peaks (1990)Unlike the 80s, the 90s were not as unapologetically synth obsessed in their soundtracks. However, as a show set squarely up against the end of the 80s and beginning of the 90s, Twin Peaks fittingly evokes an innocent nostalgia for the former decade with its soft synth theme song and character odes.Here’s a great excerpt from the Twin Peaks documentary Secrets from Another Place in which composer Angelo Badalamenti talks through how David Lynch helped him create the haunting “Laura Palmer’s Theme” song which hangs heavy throughout the mysterious series.The Virgin Suicides (1999)Like the 90s, the 2000s had mostly moved on from the now-retro synth sound except for occasional period pieces and thematic recalls. Arguably one of the best examples of how synth music can work within a film to provide nostalgia and a bygone aesthetic is in the soundtrack to Sofia Coppola’s film adaptation of The Virgin Suicides.Like her father and grandfather before her, Coppola’s use of music inside her film is a huge element of the story. The soundtrack, composed by the band Air, would rely heavily on late 70s music and sounds and would introduce a new wave of synth-undertoned music into the 21st century.Drive (2011)If there ever were a film to be driven by its soundtrack, Nicolas Winding Refn’s 2011 breakout hit, Drive, would have to be it. The film, sparse on dialogue and long on slow scenes and city night driving montages, relies heavily on its highly praised 80s-inspired synth soundtrack to lull the audience into a nostalgic trance.The film’s mostly synth soundtrack, composed by Cliff Martinez, went on to place as a top-selling album on the Billboard 200 charts and featured career-launching tracks by Kavinsky, Desire, and Chromatics (along with Martinez himself).Halt and Catch Fire (2014)Set against the very 80s backdrop of the personalized computer revolution, AMC’s acclaimed Halt and Catch Fire is a textbook example of how synthesizer music can help instantly create setting and scene for a story hinging on its own distinct cultural identity.The show’s composer, Paul Haslinger, was a member of the perennial synth soundtrack band Tangerine Dream (which itself wrote and recorded over sixty synth-fueled soundtracks in their 70s and 80s heyday). Inverse has a great interview and some AMC behind-the-scenes videos on the show’s highly detailed attempts to create 80’s authenticity in their production and soundtrack.Stranger Things (2016)While the Netflix-exclusive smash hit Stranger Things has taken the internet by storm in terms of popularity and influx of 80s homage articles and breakdowns, the show’s nostalgic pastiche of all things 1980s would not be complete without the pounding (and at times, overbearing) synth soundtrack and theme song.A fitting culmination of 30-plus years of synthesized soundtrack evolution, the show’s cultural-phenomenon status has cemented synth music, and specifically the Moog synthesizer, as the musical touchstone of 80s nostalgia. If you’re looking to hop onto the train and create some 80s nostalgic magic in one of your next projects, check out our selection of royalty-free 80s Synth Music. Or, if you have any other classic synth soundtracks to share, let us know in the comments.last_img read more