The historical find of the 'Museo del Synth Marchigiano‘
Members of the 'Synth Museum Marchigiano' have found remains of the IRIS Studio (M.A.R.S.)
In 2019 I received an email. A group of enthusiasts of old electronic musical instruments from Italian production, who also run the 'Museo del Synth Marchigiano', not far from Ancona/Italy, came up with a historical find!
After gaining access to a long-closed and half-ruined warehouse of the Bontempi company, which was to be demolished, the team discovered a considerable amount of " liquidated " material. As it turned out, it was the stored equipment from the Research Center 'IRIS' in Paliano, which had been moved there after the sudden and unexpected closure, around 1999. Above all, prototypes of various devices that had been developed at IRIS, but mainly M.A.R.S. from the last generation! A real coup of the 'Museo del Synth Marchigiano' was finally the successful "liberation" and transfer of the material into the inventory of the museum. The good folks also got lots of documentation on it, boxes of chips, individual parts and they have since brought some of the devices back into service!
However, prior to that, they had to find out first what exactly they had found there - and the only information about these devices that could be found was on my website. This is how the email reached me. Quickly a kind affiliation developed, and in the meantime they reunited a good part of the old M.A.R.S. people from the studio in Paliano (including Peppino di Guigno, Sylviane Sapir and Paolo Andrenacci) - especially by regular events in their own 'Museo del Synth Marchigiano'. Viva Italia! Life is beautiful!
The coincidence was that the home of the 'Museo del Synth Marchigiano' is also the homeland region of the Bontempi-Farfisa Group and the warehouse therefore was in the immediate vicinity. Even the NeXT cube, which was used to program the (Windows95/98) software ARES, including source codes, is part of the discovery.
For me this discovery is particularly pleasing, since I had stopped working with my M.A.R.S. due to the disappearance of IRIS, in order not to lose my entire work in case of an irreparable, technical damage. Many components (especially the chips) were IRIS developments and there were no addresses or documents that would have made a repair by outsiders possible. Now at least a lot of hardware and also documents are available again and for all involved now the question is how to connect the M.A.R.S. to current computers - my 27 years old Siemens PC is still running, but it would be more comfortable to run Windows 95 with the software 'ARES' on a more up-to-date computer. Perhaps it can be done with the help of a USB to ISA board.