The Hang (pronounce \"hung\", which is Bernese for hand), is a very recent musical instrument. It was created round 2000 in Bern (Switzerland) by Felix Rohner and Sabina Schärer of the PANArt Company. It\'s related to other well known instruments like the Steel Drum, Gong and the Cowbell.
The Hang is divided in two sides. One side is called Ding, the other Gu.
On the Ding side there are 8 tone fields, which form together the so called tone circle and in the middle of this circle lays the Ding (which sounds like a Gong).
The Gu side has a hole in the middle for resonance and tone modulation.
Both side can be played with full hand, fingertips, thumbs or any combination of these. Mostly the Hang is played while it\'s placed on the knees of the player.
From 2001 to 2008 five development stages of the PANArt Hang can be distinguished: The early Hanghang of the 1st genereration (2001-2004), the Low Hang (2005), the 2nd generation from 2006 and 2007 and the Integral Hang introduced in 2008, this is the only Hang that is manufactured today. Felix Rohner and Sabina Schärer Creators of the Hang. PANArt Company , Bern , Switzerland.
The Vitthala Temple in Hampi, India is one of the best conserved temples of the area dedicated to Vitthala, a form of Vishnu. The temple was built round 1513 by King Krishna Deva Raya.
The temple consists of 56 solid, musical, tuned pillars which can be tapped to produce sound. These pillars are popularly known as Musical Pillars or SaReGaMa pillars after the Saptha Swaras of the Indian Classical Music.
King Krishna Deva Raya Indian king (1509-1529)
The Telharmonium (Teleharmonium, Dynamophone) was invented, patented (Patent 580035) and built by Thadeus (Thomas) Cahill in 1897. It\'s a huge sound generator with a lot of controls and a polyphonic keyboard. This makes the Telharmonium the first real synthesizer.
The Telharmonium generates it\'s sound using tonewheels (similar to the famous Hammond Organ) which generate electrical signals that are added to each other to make different sounds. The signal itself was transmitted via telephone lines and reached it\'s audience via a sort of primitive coned speakers.
The biggest problem of the Telharmonium was it\'s immense size and weight. The first version Mark I weighed 7 tons, the Mark II had a weight of 200 tons and was about 18 meter long. Another big problem was the enormous cost of the instrument, both in building and using it. The Mark II costed $200.000 in 1906 and consumed an enormous amount of power (no vacuum tubes or transistors in those days).
When the broadcasts started to interfere with the telephone line the investors lost their interest and and finally in 1914 Cahill went bankrupt. Thadeus Cahill Lawyer and inventor. Invented the first electromechanical musical instrument called Telharmonium. (1
The Intonarumori were a group of \'noise making\' instruments invented by the Italian Futurist Luigi Russolo. They were rather big wooden boxes with cone in front of them to amplifie the sound they made. All of the boxes were controlled by means of handles that were moved or turned. There were 27 varieties of the boxes that made noises like howling, thunder, crackling, crumpling, exploding, gurgling, buzzing, hissing,..etc.
The Intonarumori were made to demonstrate the statements of the futurist and in particular Russolo concerning futurist music, described in his essay \'The Art of Noise\'. Luigi Russolo (1885 - 1947) Italian Futurist ,the author of the manifestoes The Art of Noises (1913) and Musica F
Drippers are part of audio installations. They are \'Computer Controlled Rain Machine\', where rain is a bit exagerated. They can drip water, where every drip is very well controlled. The computer controls the size of the 16 independent drops and their frequency.
Normally they are installed at some height above what will actually produce the sound. This can be tin cans, drums, crystall glasses, metal plates, ...
The Dripper was first used in Gent, Belgium where 3 modules were hung 9 meters heigh in the concert hall of the Logos Foundation (The Trahedron). The drop hit thin aluminium membranes mounted on a set of plastic tubes that were used as resonator Prof. Dr. Godfried-Willem Raes Flemish creative mind, inventor and experimentor. (co-)Founder of the Logos Foundation in Gent, Belg
Originally constructed in June 1995 as a side instrument for The Lyle and Sparkleface Band, the bikelophone has evolved into a palette of sonic exploration.
The current configuration includes - bass strings, scrap wood and metal, metal bowls, telephone bells, a mechanical foot pedal and a touch sensitive tone generator. With magnetic pickups attached to amplify the sound, anything connected to the bike becomes amplified.
The bikelophone produces sounds ranging from tranquil bliss to cacophonic terror.
from http://members.localnet.com/%7Edorloo/ Stephen Schweitzer
The Raffinaderij (Refinery in English) is a giant multiple-player clarinet made of plastic sewer piping, plastic soft drink bottles and flexible tubing, mounted on three bar stool frames. The air supply is provided by two bicycle-pumping musicians, and regulated by a valve-and-balloon operator. The pumping seems to have some effect on the tone and pitch, though most of the actual musical decisions are made by the other players - sometimes five at a time - who open and shut the holes (using plugs, hands, rubber gloves with a tuned reed at the tip of each finger), knead the air and sing and moan into the instrument.
from http://www.monastery.nl R:IP Rotterdamse Improvisatie Poel
The Pyrophone (also called \'Fire Organ\', \'Flame Organ\', \'Thermoacoustic Organ\', \'Singing Tubes\', \'Chemical Organ\', \'Organos de Fuego\',\'Burning Harmonica\', \'Chemical Harmonica\', \'Flammes Chantantes\', \'Thermophone\', \'Orgue a Fue\') is a musical instrument where the sound is made by heating up the air in a tube. Depending the width and length of the tube the pitch and tone colour changes. Frederic Kastner musician and physicist, son of Henri Dunant.
The Chapman Stick was invented round 1974 by Emmett Chapman. It\'s a stringed instrument as a guitar but unlike the guitar the strings are tapped, not plugged. As the Stick has more strings the player can use all his fingers at the same time.
The Stick comes in different forms. There is the 10 string Stick, called....well Stick, the 12 string version is called Grand Stick. Then there is the Stick bass which is a 8 string bass version. The NS/Stick is a 8 string multi-mode instrument, where the Alto Stick is a smaller version with a guitar range. Last but not least there is also a stick with a wider spacing, called the Ten String Grand.
The sound of the stick is close to the sound of a guitar, but the possible chords are much more versatile. Emmett Chapman In addition to creating the Chapman Stick instruments, Emmett has also had a career as a performer a
Block Jam is a musical interface controlled by the arrangement of 25 tangible blocks. By arranging the blocks musical phrases and sequences are created, allowing multiple users to play and collaborate. The system takes advantage of both graphical and tangible user interfaces. Each block has a visual display and a combination of a gestural input and a click-able input. Each Block metaphorically contains a sound group that can be chosen via the gestural input, the click-able input changes a block functionally. Thus, musically complex and engaging configurations can be rapidly assembled. The tangible nature of the blocks and the intuitive interface promotes face-to-face collaboration, and the presence of the GUI allows for remote collaboration across a network.
By creating both a tangible and a visual language, Block Jam is able to create endless meaningful musical structures in a novel and intuitive way that predisposes itself to collaboration and exploration, face to face or via a network, pushing interactive music towards the casual user.
(from : http://www.sonycsl.co.jp/) Sony CSL Sony Computer Science Lab
Scrapple is an audiovisual installation in which everyday objects placed on a table are interpreted as sound-producing marks in an active score. The Scrapple system scans a table surface as if it were a kind of music notation, producing music in real-time from any objects lying there. The installation makes use of a variety of playful forms; in particular, long flexible curves allow for the creation of variable melodies, while an assemblage of cloth shapes, small objects and wind-up toys yields ever-changing rhythms. Video projections on the Scrapple table transform the surface into a simple augmented reality, in which the objects placed by users are elaborated through luminous and explanatory graphics. The 3-meter long table produces a 4-second audio loop, allowing participants to experiment freely with tangible, interactive audiovisual composition. In the Scrapple installation, the table is the score.
(from : http://www.flong.com/) Golan Levin develops artifacts and events which explore supple new modes of reactive expression
The Sonic Scanner turns drawings, pictures, etc. into sound. It uses an old handheld scanner with the electronics hacked to turn the visual scan-line into an audio waveform, so you can hear whatever you decide to scan translated into sound. The pressure sensors control various parameters (volume, pitch, etc).
There are four modes you can use to translate pictures into sound. The first mode, \"Waveform\" turns the optical scanline directly into sound by literally going through the brightness levels at an audio rate. The second mode, \"Spectrum\" translates the optical spectrum into an audio spectrum. It does this by mapping the scanline onto the frequency domain using a FFT (Fast Fourier Transform). The third mode, \"Rhythm\" is similar to the first in that it directly maps the scanline to audio, but at a much slower rate in order to pull out the rhythmic content of the scanned material. The last mode, \"Sampler\" lets you record a sound and then manipulate its playback with the Sonic Scanner.
(from : http://www.create.ucsb.edu/~dano/) Dan Overholt PhD candidate and Lecturer in the Media Arts and Technology program and theCenter for Research in Electronic Art Technology at UC Santa Barbara. He studied electronics engineering and music (violin performance) at CSU, Chico, and has a Masters from the Media Laboratory at MIT, where his thesis focused on the development of a novel interface called the
Plink Jet is a robotic musical instrument made from scavenged ink jet printers. The mechanical parts of four printers are diverted from their original function, re-contextualizing the relatively high-tech mechanisms of this typically banal appliance into a ludic musical performance. Motorized, sliding ink cartridges and plucking mechanisms play four guitar strings by manipulating both pitch and strumming patterns like human hands fingering, fretting, and strumming a guitar. Plink Jet is designed to play itself, be played, or both. The result is an optionally collaborative performance between both the user and Plink Jet, with the user choosing varying levels of manual control over the different cartridges (fretting) and string plucking speeds (strumming).
(from: http://www.seseyann.com) Lesley Flanigan sculptor, singer and sound artist in New York
DrumPants are a set of pants that enable the wearer to produce drum sounds by hitting various parts of the pants with his hands. The wearer thusly becomes a cyborg musician, his body assuming the roles of both player and instrument, allowing for spontaneous electric hambone solos or even collaborations with other musicians in a band setting.
(from: http://www.odbol.com/) Odbol
Odbol is an artist that specializes in designing interfaces that bring the body closer to the machine, thus enhancing the user's ability to manipulate digital information efficiently and unobtrusively- some people refer to these users as cyborgs, but the phenomenon is so rampant in today's modern world that the word cyborg really loses all meaning.
He received his undergrad degree in Computer Science and his Master's in Digital Art and New Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He is currently residing in San Francisco, CA, playing drums for The Basement Revelations and working on custom VJ software using the Nintendo Wii remote.
The Kosmophone is a gamma-ray spectrometer operating in the range of about 3 to 7 million electron-volts (MeV) controlling a MIDI music synthesizer.
This octave of the electromagnetic spectrum, about a million times higher frequency than the octave our eyes respond to, contains very little energy that originates in our solar system. Almost all of the energy in this band is a result of unbelievably energetic radiation coming from the far reaches of the universe, \'Cosmic Rays\'. Fortunately, they tend not to make it all the way through the approximately 100 miles of air over our heads. As they smash their way through the atmosphere the collisions produce energetic emissions and it is these secondary emissions the Kosmophone responds to. The energy level of each detected event is measured and that information is sent to the MIDI control port of a music synthesizer. The \'cosmic data\' is not altered or supplemented in any way and would be presumed to be completely random.
(from : http://www.kosmophone.com/) Jerry Chamkis electronics wizard and member of AERCO, Acme Electric Robot Company
The Overtone Violin is a radically augmented musical instrument that preserves the traditions of violin technique while adding a whole new set of possibilities for the musician.
The rationale behind the development of the instrument was to keep the expressive elements of the expert violinist, while incorporating the added benefits of gestural controllers via embedded sensors. Any instrument can be augmented to different degrees through the addition of extra sensors; such hybrid instruments offer musicians the familiarity and expressivity of their chosen instrument along with the extended control afforded by the sensors. There are two ways, however, in which the Overtone Violin differs from most hybrid instruments. First, the extra sensors are used to capture a completely separate (yet complementary) set of gestures, rather than just acquiring traditional skills of the performer. Second, it is designed and built from scratch to be an entirely new, specialized instrument that continues the evolution of the violin, rather than retrofitting an existing instrument. The philosophy of this approach is to use gesture sensors to add new functionality to the instrument, in addition to capturing traditional playing techniques with as much nuance as possible - using optical pickups to accurately sense the vibrations of the strings, which virtuosos have spent years perfecting. In fact, the Overtone Violin can be viewed as two components tightly integrated into one: it is both a traditional (electronic) violin, and a gestural computer music controller.
(from : http://www.create.ucsb.edu/~dano) Dan Overholt PhD candidate and Lecturer in the Media Arts and Technology program and theCenter for Research in Electronic Art Technology at UC Santa Barbara. He studied electronics engineering and music (violin performance) at CSU, Chico, and has a Masters from the Media Laboratory at MIT, where his thesis focused on the development of a novel interface called the
kII (Kempelen 2.0) is a voice-topological interface for gestural navigation in linguistic space. The hand serves as the speech organ during the articulation process.
The device is operated by means of the sensory determination of the opened state of both hands, their position in space, their relative height, and other parameters which are assigned to the jaw and tongue position in the mouth as well as to pitch and rhythm.
Phoneme production is based on phonetic laws. A spoken language is produced through the implementation of musical scales and speech rhythms whose context of meaning is not characterized by the conveyance of information but by the abstraction of the voice in tonal linguistic space.
Articulatory-topological phonetics deals with the speech process — parts of the body serve as speech organs during the articulation process. It is therefore historically linked to Kempelen’s motif of speech generation for the voiceless: voice generation for the speechless.
(from : http://www.audiocommander.de/) Michael Markert a media-artist specializing in programming and electronics
The Blackbird is a violin made of stone (Diabase), a \"leftover\" Gravestone of Lars his Grandfather. The violin was constructed to the designs of Stradivarius.
The belly of the violin is only 2.5 mm thick at its thinnest point. The ribs were made in one piece by first sawing out a 30 mm thick plate shaped to form the external contour, and then, with infinite care, removing the inside using water-drill and hand-tools so as to create a thin rib, no more than a couple of millimetres thick at its thinnest point.
(partly from: http://www.widenfalk.com) Lars Widenfalk Swedish scuptor
FlexiGesture is an embodied multi-degree-of-freedom gestural input device. It was built to support six-degree-of-freedom inertial sensing, five isometric buttons, two digital buttons, two-axis bend sensing, isometric rotation sensing, and isotonic electric field sensing of position. Software handles the incoming serial data, and implements a trainable interface by which a user can explore the sounds possible with the device, associate a custom inertial gesture with a sound for later playback, make custom input degree-of-freedom (DOF) to effect modulation mappings, and play with the resulting configuration.
(from: http://www.media.mit.edu/resenv/amc/) MIT Media Lab MIT Media Lab
SO.GR.O.U.P. is a collection of wonderfull instruments that listen to names like \'acroasis\', \'airy\', \'axial\', \'body phone\', \'sexual bubbles\', \'hand\', \'hart rythmics\', \'pithagoras\', \'plevriosis ..a\', \'DROP\', \'GONGY & FINGER-TAM\', \'ISSO\', \'KOUNIA & BOCK\', \'LYRES\', \'MISCELLANEOUS 2\', \'PLEVRIOSIS b , SISTRONIC\', \'POISON & ANTIDOTE\', \'RECKON\', \'RESONS & MIC-MASKS\' and \'breathm\'. George Tzelesis sound sculptor and inventor of the SO.GR.O.U.P. civil movement.
Dewanatron: a family of instruments which hazard unpredictable behaviors and self playing tendencies. They make all previous and future instruments obsolete. Ideal for home, church, school, or the electronic music laboratory.
The Dewanatrons are devided in subcategories being : Melody Gins, Swarmatrons, Folk Synthesizers, Courtesy Modules, Dual Primate Console and Wall Gins.
(partly from : http://www.dewanatron.com/) Brian and Leon Dewan father and son, mad scientists and electronic geniuses
Visual Accoustics is a Java Applet, which allows you to play several instruments (including Piano, Strings, Flute, Bass, Harp, etc.) by moving your mouse on the canvas. You control delay, volume and pitch, and the program does the harmony.
(partly from : http://weirdinstruments.blogspot.com) Alex Lampe Interactive Designer
The Whalefish is a sort of one-man-band. It can be played sitting , standing or walking, because it is totally connected to the body. Around the neck there’s a thong to which two piano strings attach to the soundboard. From the soundboard there are two wooden legs connected with a foot piece. The movements of the instruments are thus directly connected to the neck, foot and lap.
Apart from playing the strings, there are a number of objects to be played on the sound board (amplified with a contact microphone). There are telephone bells, piano strings, almond grinder, toy music box, fire alarm bell, door bell, wooden rods, a spring, protruding pieces of piano wire, butter ball maker, hacksaw blades and an egg slicer.
On the rear side of the Whalefish there are an African mbira, egg slicer and parts of a coffee grinder. The resonator plate comes from an old piano.
To go with it, a great number of tools are used like a cigarette lighter, coffee stirrers, nail files, playing cards, piano tuning pins, screws, miniature saw, table duster, rubber bands, steel brush, plastic forks, knives and spoons, cake cutters, shell, tooth brush, combs, onion holder, cone, holder for mock-flowers, back scratcher, piano hammers, hoof scraper, ice strainer, barbecue sticks, food sticks, straw, saw blades, necklace, teat, toy guitar, toy horse, onion saw, feathers, nut grater, screwdriver and bows.
(partly from: http://www.bergmark.org/) Johannes Bergmark see AirPiano
The AirPiano is an innovative musical interface which allows playing and controlling software instruments simply by moving hands in the air.
Above the AirPiano is a virtual matrix of keys and faders, each assigned with MIDI messages and ready to be triggered. The length of a triggered note is equivalent to the time a hand is placed on the corresponding virtual key. This is also confirmed by LED feedback.
The AirPiano Software allows easy setup, loading/saving presets and transposing notes.
(from : http://www.airpiano.de) Omer Yosha Interface Design student from the FH Potsdam (near Berlin)
Octopulse shows that noise is music. It is the principal musician of \'The Alien Noise Orchestra\', being the first of 4 different looking toy instrument characters that all produce different sounds. With this cuddly \'alien bagpipe\' you can control analogue sound synthesis through unconventional means, transferring movements into information for an analogue synthesizer to convert into cacophonous noises. This unconventional soundscape alters perceptions of what music could be and allows the electronic sounds of a synthesizer to be accessed by anyone.
Octopulse is in practical terms a knitted synthesizer that turns unapproachable technology into an easily approachable, tactile and emotional object. Experiencing the joy of instant creative expression and not being put off or defeated by over-complicated technology is why Octopulse is a great therapeutic tool for those with a wide variety of special needs, as well as being the perfect creative playmate for children and an innovative new instrument for creative music and studio soundscape-recording.
(from : http://www.shootthestylist.net) Brit Leissler Designer at Shoot the Stylist
Possibly the most undignified musical instrument ever, hipDisk exploits changing relationships between torso and hip to actuate sound.
Simple horizontal disk-shaped extensions of the body exaggerate, so make highly visible, the interdependent relationship of the hip and torso. Soft switches, strategically placed around the perimeter of each disk, allow the wearer to play a chromatic scale, and so play simple melodies, restricted only by flexibility and speed of swing.
hipDisk is designed to inspire people to swing their hips and explore and extend the full range of movement available to them through a simultaneous, interdependent exploration of sound. In creating hipDisk, the interest was to move beyond limb- and digit-triggered switches and explore full-body movement for actuation. The resulting body-instrument interconnects choreography and composition in a fundamental way, and hopefully opens up new areas of exploration.
(from : http://www.daniellewilde.com) Danielle Wilde artist and design researcher
Stupephone / THER-E-THING
Full name is \'The Incredible Stupephone - Featuring the amazing THER-E-THING\'.
In Stupephone mode, it\'s played by playing the \'keyboard\' with the metal fingerpick at the top right. The pitch is determined by the resistance, so it has to be retuned for each person playing it.
In Therething mode, you ground yourself on the red stud and play the metal plate like a theremin. The harder you press, the lower the pitch.... drumming your fingers on it sounds like someone hit R2-D2 with a tazer. Has about a 5-octave range if you can control it....
(from : http://www.flickr.com/photos/metropolismusic/2735722034/) Mark Dalzell guitar builder/vendor
The Choralcello was was a hybrid electronic and electro-acoustic instrument and was marketed as a hi-end home instrument.
The Choralcello was a direct contemporary of the Telharmonium using a similar electromagnetic tone wheel sound generation to the Telharmonium used in the \'organ\' section of the instrument as well as a set of electromagnetically operated piano strings. The Choralcello consisted of two keyboards, the upper (piano) keyboard having 64 keys and the lower 88 (piano and \'organ\'), controlling (in later models) 88 tone wheels and a set of piano strings that were vibrated by electromagnets and a set of hammers that could play the strings in a normal piano fashion. The keyboards also had a set of organ style stops to control the timbre and fundamentals of the tone that could then be passed through cardboard, hardwood, softwood, glass, steel or \"bass-buggy\" spring resonators to give the sound a particular tone.
The Choralcello also incorporated a pianola style paper roll mechanism for playing \'pre-recorded\' music and a 32 note pedal board system. The entire machine could occupy two basements of a house, the keyboards and \'loudspeakers\' being the only visible part of the instrument.
(partly form : http://120years.net/) Choralcelo Manufacturing Co Melvin Severy (1863 -1951) and George B. Sinclair
Telematic Drum Circle
Telematic Drum Circle is an interdisciplinary art project which combines Tele-Robotics, Computer Science, Pneumatics and Music. The project explores the rupture of deeper communication in the technology meditated world, and addresses the issue of global harmony by sharing participants’ rhythmical spirit produced through the telematic live drum ensemble. It consists of two main components: a set of sixteen robotic drums arranged in an installation space and an interactive website networked with these drums. Each drum is representative of a geo-cultural region. Regardless of age, sex, religion, race, and culture, we all have a universal rhythm which is a heart beat. The drum is an instrument of rhythm, and I believe it can stand in for a person’s heart. The heart to heart communication expressed on drums cuts through all the differences, and blurs the boundaries. By tapping the computer keyboard while at the website, participants around the world can remotely play the robotic instruments together, while watching a live streaming video of their ensemble broadcast through the website.
(from : http://www.telematicdrumcircle.net/) Byeong Sam Jeon Electronic Artist,Interdisciplinary Researcher and Independent Curator
DOT Matrix Synth
The DOT Matrix Synth is an interactive installation piece.
The user presses buttons on an attached control interface to play different notes. As the printer is played, it\'s also printing a set of images that are programmed into the printer\'s EPROM with the software.
The printer creates sound from the print head firing pins against the paper and the vibration of the stepper motor driving the print head back and forth. To generate different notes, the software adjusts the frequency of the printing process. Higher pitches tend to come from the firing of the pins against the paper, and lower pitches come from the rattle of driving the stepper motor.
The external eight-button interface plugs into the printer\'s font cartridge port. Each button has an assigned pitch, and pressing multiple buttons simultaneously activates the arpeggiator that quickly cycles through the notes you are holding down. The software also has the ability to run without the button interface, using the three buttons on the printer\'s front panel instead.
There is interaction between the images and music. The image dithering patterns fluctuate depending on what notes are played, and the music\'s volume and rhythmic patterns change depending on the pattern in the current horizontal section of the image. The printer can store about three pages of black and white images which print in order and then repeat.
(from : http://qotile.net/dotmatrix.html) Paul Slocum artist, gallery owner
Absolut Quartet is a music making machine like no other. The audience becomes part of the performance, while watching something that appears impossible. At this moment no interaction is possible but from January 2009 on this will work again.
The main instrument is a ballistic marimba, which launches rubber balls roughly 2m into the air, precisely aimed to bounce off of 42 chromatic wooden keys. The second instrument is an array of 35 custom-tuned wine glasses, played by robotic fingers. Finally, an array of 9 ethnic percussion instruments rounds out the ensemble.
(from : http://bea.st/sight/absolutQuartet/) Jeff Lieberman and Dan Paluska MIT offspring
The Rhythm Ring interactive rhythm sequencer is an engaging musical device that enables the user to create a plethora of rhythms and beat patterns with the touch of their own fingers.
Besides being fun to play with, the Rhythm Ring provides a tangible method of arranging a musical rhythm. In our design, the user can arrange beats and modify them in real time by moving steel ball bearings between holes—a physical representation of notes on a musical staff. The Rhythm Ring continuously loops up to three tracks, each with its own voice. A central ring of LEDs provide the user with live feedback for current \"playhead\" position, and bright LEDs pulse when a note is played due to a detected bearing. The three tracks allow the playback of three different percussion sounds: snare, hi-hat, and bass drum.
(from : http://www.blufiresoftware.com/) Brian Yung & Hanson Jiang students at Cornell University
Festo Sound Machines
\"The Sound Machines\" are an automated, electrical string quartet with a drum. The four string instruments sound and function like electric guitars, the difference being that each sound machine only has one string.
21 micro-cylinders from Festo are used in each sound machine. The micro-cylinders imitate the mechanical movements of a musician\'s left hand on the string instruments, determining the pitch of the tone by changing the length of the strings. Various drumsticks and a jazz brush are moved on the drum by micro-cylinders.
(from : http://www.festo.com) Roland Olbeter Set designer and robot artist
Sound Lathe explores the sonic properties of woodwork.The Sound Lathe produces audio data, saw dust, noise and wood chippings. With this human powered machine, turned spindles are shaped into complex sounds such as tones, glitches and beats..
The Sound Lathe uses a video input and a muio interface (muio.org) to convert the shape carved into the wood into digital signals that generate audio within custom software written in MAX/MSP. The shape of the audio waves produced is directly related to the shape turned on the Lathe. The pulse of Lathe being used is sensed as the wood-turner pumps the drive pedal, this is converted to a midi clock pulse which is passed to custom written sequencing software written in SuperCollider.
(from : http://www.variableg.org.uk/owlweb/Owl_home.htm) Owl Project a collaborative group of Manchester based artists who share interests in human interaction with technology and process led art. The group currently consists of Simon Blackmore, Antony Hall and Steve Symons. Over the last few years we have become known for a distinctive range of wooden musical and sculptural instruments that critique human interaction with computer interfaces and our increasing appetite for new and often disposable technologies.
Fingertip Keyboard Gloves
These are the children\'s gloves that play musical notes when the fingertips are tapped against any flat surface. Each glove can play an entire octave in the key of C; pressing on the heel of the hand changes the middle three fingers to the final notes A, B, and C, completing the scale. Both gloves connect with a wire to an integrated speaker unit that provides volume and tempo control for eight different tones, including piano, violin, mandolin, and more (including an additional six different percussion tones); 30 different rhythms are provided. Learning and demonstration functions allow children to tap along with the speaker unit\'s songs while perfecting their skills. The speaker unit clips to a belt.
(from : http://www.hammacher.com ) unknown unknown
Fold Loud is a (de)constructing musical play interface that uses origami paper-folding techniques and ritualistic Taoist principles to give users a sense of slow, soothing relaxation.
Fold Loud interconnects ancient traditions and modern technology by combining origami, vocal sound and interactive techniques. Unlike mainstream technology intended for fast-paced life, Fold Loud is healing, recovering and balancing.
Playing Fold Loud involves folding origami shapes to create soothing harmonic vocal sounds. Each fold is assigned to a different human vocal sound so that combinations of folds create harmonies. Users can fold multiple Fold Loud sheets together to produce a chorus of voices. Opened circuits made out of conductive fabric are visibly stitched onto the sheets of paper which creates a meta-technological aesthetic. When the sheets are folded along crease lines, a circuit is closed like a switch. Thus, the interface guides participants to use repetitive delicate hand gestures such as flipping, pushing and creasing. Fold Loud invites users to slow down and reflect on different physical senses by crafting paper into both geometric origami objects and harmonic music.
(from : http://jooyounpaek.com/) JooYoun Paek artist and interaction designer born in Seoul and based in New York. She has created interactive objects and installations that reflect on human behavior, technology and social change.
FROM SCRATCH instruments are sound and sign, signals to ear and eye. The tonal vocabulary has evolved from random-pitched to finely-tuned, just, harmonic and micro\'. Central to this development have been the tuned percussion stations, rack-supported, four-tier combinations of PVC pipes, tuned-tongue bells, roto-tom drums, and tuned tongue bamboos, along with some quirky and original methods of playing. First four and later three of these stations, along with various other original struck and spun acoustic instruments, made up the FROM SCRATCH sound that gained it international recognition. FROM SCRATCH contains instruments like Zitherum long stringed instruments (drummed and bowed), the metal pronged Nundrum, the stroked RodBaschet, Gong tree, Foley-trays, WaterCooler–Drumkit, Water-bells & kitchen sink. . . and more recently the Gloopdrum family, spring-gongs, ostifans.
(partly from : http://www.sonicsfromscratch.co.nz) Phil Dadson sound & intermedia artist
Zoybar is a unique platform for developing innovative music instruments and effects. The Zoybar components provide research and development tools as a sustainable, playable prototype platform. The same modular parts can be assembled as different instruments, can be change during the performance and also be mounted with numerous special effects, just by adding and changing their position across the profile groves.
As an independent developer you can use the Zoybar hardware platform to integrate your application and become relevant to the whole Zoybar community.
The whole concept of the Zoybar is inspired by the Open Source movement, well known in the software world.
(from : http://www.zoybar.net) Ziv Bar Ilan industrial designer and the founder/designer and art director of Zoybar
Audio d-touch is a collection of 3 tangible interface applications for music composition and performance: the Augmented Stave, the Tangible Drum Machine and the Physical Sequencer.
They can be though as toy-like computer music instruments. Each instrument includes a number of wooden blocks, and the interaction takes place on a flat surface, like a table top. The blocks represent different sounds, by spatially arranging the blocks on the surface users can create sequences of piano notes, drum sounds or generic audio clips.
(from : http://web.media.mit.edu/~enrico/) Enrico Costanza ( with Simon Shelley) Enrico Costanza is a Research Assistant and PhD student in the Laboratoire de design et media
AU Design Project
AU Design Project is a new concept phone born out of the collaboration between Yamaha and KDDI. The phones are more than just phones and are also musical instrument.
\'Band in my Pocket\' is a mobile phone with different modules like a trumpet module, trombone module and mouthharp module.
\'Sticks in the Air\' is the drum version of the phone, where the phone can be split in two and each half is used as a drumstick.
\'Key to Touch\' is a phone that can be opened and reveals a piano keyboard.
\'Strings for Fingers\' slides open and show some strings that can be played as a guitar or a harp. Yamaha - KDDI musical instrument builders and designers
The Harmonic Generator is an experimental electronic instrument. It consists of five main components. First, 64 piano strings chromatically tuned to 32 notes. Second, 32 corresponding motors with 1/2 bristle paint brushes beating the strings at controlled speeds. Third, a keyboard, played like a piano, controlling the motors. Fourth, 12 pick-ups that focus on one octave of strings. Finally, a transducer at the end of the instrument that feed back the sound of the pick-ups into the resonance hull. So far, the result of this new instrument can only be described as a symphony inside the belly of a whale.
(from : http://www.isaczal.com) Isac Zal designs and sculpts new musical instruments and music machines out of steel salvaged from junk cars. His largest work, the Harmonic Generator appeared in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Other instruments have appeared in the Sideshow gallery in Brooklyn. He performs regularly on his instruments with an ensemble throughout New York in various venues including the streets and subways
The Earth Harp
The Earth Harp is a large-scale, architectural stringed instrument. The Earth Harp can be set up in a multitude of environments, directly incorporating the surrounding architecture and environment.
In a theater, the resonating chamber of the instrument rests on stage and the strings go out over the audience and attach to the architecture of the theater.
In an outdoor plaza, the strings of the Earth Harp travel from the ground level and attach to the roofline and architecture of the surrounding buildings.
The Earth Harp is played using rosin covered, cotton gloves. The performers run their fingertips along the strings to generate a longitudinal vibration that literally pushes the music through the molecules of the string. This action is similar to running your fingers around the end of a crystal glass and creates beautiful cello-like tones.
The Earth Harp is used in performance and is set up as an interactive installation. At certain events and festivals, the public gets to play the giant strings of the Earth Harp.
The Earth Harp received its name when it first ran its strings across a valley, 1000 feet, literally turning part of the Earth into a giant harp.
The Earth Harp holds the record for the Longest Stringed Instrument in the world with strings that have run over 1,000 ft in length.
(partly from : http://www.massensemble.com/) Bill Close Bill is the designer and founder of MASS. His work started with small sound sculptures in art school and has grown into large-scale, musical performance installations.
Datasound offers an alternative and more sensual interpretation of electronic data by exploring their musical potential. Datasound is a fully functional musical instrument that enables you to hear, mix, scratch and perform digital data signals, from a picture, an old program floppy, a computer virus, a love letter, or a drawing…
On the right side of the deck stands a turntable that plays 5.25” floppy disks.The datasound mixing deck is completed with a sampler that reproduces in real time samples obtained from a variety of objects that contain or generate data: a Winchester hard drive, a neon light, a 3.5” floppy disk drive, a flatbed scanner, data cartriges, travel cards…
(from : http://www.troika.uk.com ) Troika Troika is a multi-disciplinary art and design practice founded in 2003 by Conny Freyer, Eva Rucki and Sebastien Noel, who met while studying at the Royal College of Art in London.
The Secretary\'s Nightmare
The Secretary\'s Nightmare is a musical sculpture, a sculpture that makes interesting sounds when struck. It evolved out of a mirror-like hollow steel ball found washed up on a beach and some antique typewriter parts.
You can play The Secretary\'s Nightmare in different ways, such as by dragging pieces of mattress foam over it or strike it with a ping pong ball on a string.
The music it makes is always somewhat out of control and random. Because the sounds it makes are low-volume it\'s used with a stethoscope as a means of amplification. Playing it is a very personal experience. People without the stethoscope only hear a weak suggestion of what goes on inside it.
(from: http://www.instructables.com) Bill Birdsall aka Thinkenstein, diy enthousiast
The Prism is a bit like a guitar with some synthesizer mashed in. It has aspects of a theremin and a laser harp thrown in to boot. In short, it\'s not like anything else, and you can use it to make some really neat sounds. Anything from cold Sine and harsh square waves to heavily distorted noise.
At its heart the Prism features a VCO (Voltage Controlled Oscillator), based around the very shiny XR2206 monolithic function generator. The octave range is selected by blocking one of four laser \"strings,\" and the pitch is controlled by the position of the musician\'s hand on the fretboard. The musician has the option of selecting a sine, triangle or square wave. The sine and triangle waves can be skewed using a separate Skew control.
It also has two other controllable oscillators, one acting as an LFO (Low Frequency Oscillator) and the other acting as a Sync generator.
The Prism plugs into any regular guitar amp, with no computer required. In fact, there is no programming involved at all in this project! It is just as portable as a regular guitar, and meant to be used at gigs or wherever else an \"alternative\" instrument is needed!
(from: http://www.instructables.com) Jeff-O jeff-o
Jeff is an electronics technologist at a large aeronautics corporation.
Double Piston, Triple Neck Wheeling Violin
The Double Piston, Triple Neck Wheeling Violin (DPTNWV) is made of a triple neck violin mounted on a \'wheeling\' device. The DPTNWV has a piston mechanism as a steam engine. Two bows are attached to the pistons, and as the wheel goes round, it pushes the bows up and down in an arpeggiating movement. The violin has three necks, two in the main playing part, with a bridge dividing down the middle, and a third with five resonating strings. A vital environmental consideration on the music is the condition of the road. Small bumps give rise to interesting spiccato affects.
As the pushes it along, and depending on the speed, he gets the sense of not how long is a piece of music but of how far is a piece of music. Of course, by walking backwards, the performer could hear again what he had just played in retrograde. Thus, with this instrument a new dimension was added to the parameters of musical structure, that of distance.
(partly from: http://www.jonroseweb.com) Jon Rose Australian violinist, best known for his experiments with violins.
Beat-Bike v.1 is a bicycle-controlled drum machine. Sensors mounted on a bicycle frame are activated by spinning the bicycle\'s front wheel. Once activated, they trigger a momentary sounding of a single drum sound- kick drum, snare, tom-tom, and \'disco-bleep\' from a kids\' toy drum machine. As the wheel spins, the sensors are triggered in a sequence which becomes an audible, repeating drum beat. The rider controls the tempo of the beat as well as the sequence of sounds from controls mounted on the handlebars. Because the sounds are controlled by riding a bicycle, Beat-Bike v.1 rewards exercise and coordination with funky outer-space disco beats. And it\'s fun!
(from : http://una-love.com) Michael Una sound artist and circuit bender
The Harmonic Bridge is an art project where the sound of the traffic is filtered in an analogue way. The filter is made by attaching two 16-foot (4.9m) long tube along a bridge which result in a 16-foot long wave (very low C) . Inside each tube, a microphone is placed at a certain harmonic interval (the 5th in one tube, the 4th in the other). These locations emphasize the harmonic and give a slightly different timbre to the two Cs.
As traffic passes by, its noise generates a sympathetic resonance in the columns of air inside the tubes. High-pitched sirens and even voices generate higher harmonics, while the low rumble of trucks creates low ones. The sound is carried from the microphones in the tubes to a control room, where the sound signal is then amplified and transmitted to the concrete cube speakers under the bridge. There are no electronic effects added. The sounds have been simply extracted from the traffic noise above, as one might extract precious metal from a baser substance. The pedestrian hears one tuned layer of city sounds, and strains to separate the harmony from the traffic on Marshall Street. The work requires that we focus our ears on it, and we walk away from the experience as the composer John Cage would have us: hearing music everywhere. The bridge becomes an instrument played by the city revealing hidden harmonies within the built environment.
(partly from: http://www.massmoca.org) Bruce Odland and Sam Auinger For over 20 years Bruce Odland and Sam Auinger (O+A) have had a transatlantic collaboration making installations that change the way we hear, re-connecting us to our environment. They are composers and philosophers of modern life who think with their ears. They have developed a :Hearing Perspective on our visually insane culture.