Misc., Video — August 7, 2013 at 8:40 am

Vince Clarke asks fans to film themselves making synth sounds with their mouths

Vince Clarke

In an effort to create a synthesizer version of the ever-popular air guitar, Erasure’s Vince Clarke is asking fans to enter his First International Synth Gurning Competition by filming themselves making synth sounds with their mouths “whilst pulling a funny face.” To help get things started, the electronic music guru has offered up his own video.

Below, check out Clarke’s example and read the description of the contest.

And if you search “synth gurning” on YouTube, well, you’ll find some weird stuff.



We all know about ‘Air Guitar’ (a form of movement in which the performer pretends to play rock or heavy metal-style electric guitar) and ‘Beatboxing’ (a form of vocal percussion primarily involving the art of producing drum beats, using one’s mouth, lips, tongue, and voice).

But what about ‘Synth Gurning’? Synth Gurning is defined as the art of producing synth sounds or effects using just the voice whilst pulling a funny face.

In order to give this little known artform the attention and respect it rightly deserves, we’re launching the worlds first International Synth Gurning competition.

The concept is simple. We’d like you to video yourself making your own synth sound or effect with just your voice. We’re also looking for ‘interesting facial expression’ (gurning), to enhance the performance. Basically we want to hear you make silly sounds and see your face while you do so.

Like Vince you may already have a head full of synth sounds in which case you can freestyle your entry as in this example recorded by Vince himself.





  1. Wow, the internet age, what modern upright monkeys can do with the internets. How bout ass synth sounds Vince.

  2. I think it’s definitely time for Vince retirement. Better option is to reform Yazoo and make new record with real synth sound.

  3. Richard Rider

    It shows a playful side of Vince Clarke, a man who has made a career out of being an expressionless automaton for 30 years. I think it’s hilarious. Thanks for the chuckle, Vince!

    Nice to see a little light-hearted humour. The fact that it comes from one of the greatest synthesizer musicians/pop songwriters of all time, only makes it more endearing.

    Get over yourselves, people. Stop listening to your Morrissey records for a moment & get some sun.

  4. Great comment, my thoughts exactly!

    • Couldn’t agree more, Richard Rider! ;)

      • Yes, absolutely, thanks Richard.

        The neg comments on this site are always by youngsters who prefer the past they missed, and only know from the music & videos. Those of us Vince’s age, prefer the present, because we only sort of kind of recall the past. Plus, anyone who loves Vince knows that he has been working very hard on his music–and he didn’t invent Gurning–this is nothing new.

  5. uhm….That sounds more like a guitar gurning …I think. What’s the prize for the winner anyways ?

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