Welcome to ‘The Rhodes Lodge’
For Rhodes debut Superbooth exhibit in Berlin, we chose to celebrate the inextricable link between David Lynch’s ‘Twin Peaks’ and Rhodes piano. Much of the iconic TV series soundtrack, and the beautiful, emotive theme itself, were composed by long time Lynch-collaborator Angelo Badalamenti on a Rhodes MK1 piano.
‘The Rhodes Lodge’ exhibit echoed the striking design aesthetic of ‘The Black Lodge’ in David Lynch’s incredible TV drama whilst giving a subtle nod to the electric tine piano’s spiritual home in jazz clubs such as Ronnie Scott’s, London.
Leading the plaudits, musicradar.com awarded the exhibit ‘Best Visual Reference’ in their Superbooth 2022 review:
”It’s fair to say that the MK8 from revived electric piano brand Rhodes is something of a looker – and the all-black design on show at this year’s Superbooth is a particularly fine specimen. The now UK-based brand get extra points from us though, for having placed it in a booth that gives a visual nod to the menacing Black Lodge from David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, complete with red curtains and jagged, black and white floor.
The moody, jazz-inflected cool of Lynch’s classic series seems like a good match for the vintage-charm of Rhodes’ MK8, in our book. That piano you like is going to come back in style.”
Among attendees to ‘The Rhodes Lodge’ was MK8 industrial designer Axel Hartmann, who was delighted to meet the piano he contributed to so much. The exhibit featured four new Rhodes MK8 pianos – including the 75th Anniversary Edition MK8/75AE prototype, a classic configuration MK8, a walnut-cased version and a custom white lidded piano affectionately nicknamed ‘The Stormtrooper’ after George Lucas’ iconic fictional soldiers from the Star Wars franchise.
Angelo Badalamenti, David Lynch and ‘Laura Palmer’s Theme’
In the above interview, Angelo documents the real-time composition and inspirational exchanges with David Lynch that culminated in the haunting ‘Laura Palmer’s Theme’.
Composed on a battered old Rhodes Mark 1, this piano was the workhorse and compositional foundation behind Angelo’s masterpieces, including the Twin Peaks soundtrack, ‘Mysteries of Love’ from Lynch’s ‘Blue Velvet’ and many more.
Truly startling is Angelo’s ability to respond musically with such immediacy to the pictures David painted with his words. This dynamic, improvised composition could only come from such a pairing of elite creative minds: a man who thinks in pictures describes what he wants to a man who paints with music. Like a game of creative tennis, David serves Angelo the visual tone in language, and Angelo responds on the Rhodes piano in sound.
Testament to the creative symbiosis between Lynch and Badalamenti is that not a note of the Twin Peaks theme was re-written after the writing session ended. So when Angelo offers to take a demo cassette away and embellish upon the work, David responds kindly but resolutely, ‘Angelo, don’t do a thing and don’t change a single note. I see Twin Peaks’.
Rhodes MK8 x Modular Integration
Another feature of ‘The Rhodes Lodge’ was Jake Mehew’s fascinating approach to integrating modular synthesis with the new MK8. Jake uses modular CV to control the MK8 and automate the preamp controls, creating lush ambient soundscapes.
This layering of electro-acoustic piano and analogue sound generation proved to be a match made in synth heaven. His performances in ‘The Rhodes Lodge’ and on ‘The Superbooth Session Stage’ attracted intrigued audiences, revealing a bright electronic future frontier for the once humble tine piano.
Dispatches from ‘The Rhodes Lodge’
That concludes our Superbooth 2022 report. Our sincerest thanks to everyone who visited ‘The Rhodes Lodge’.
Best of all, no one resembling the terrifying Twin Peak’s character “Bob” showed up…
Until next year,
The Rhodes Team