This harmonium was given to me so I don’t know its origin but I am guessing that it comes from India. The reeds, however, are concert pitch so that also leads me to believe that it could have been made in the west. The only modification that I made was a topical set of MIDI controlled solenoid fingers that play the notes. The electronics are housed in a base that I added below the instrument. Originally, I added a motorized crank to automate the bellows but I removed it because it was too noisy and consistent. I now perform with it operating the dynamics of the bellows with one hand and percussion or other instruments with my other free hand.
This instrument sparked the idea of creating a future set of semi-robotic devices that could be partly automated and partly manually operated perhaps like the traditional hurdy-gurdy or the crank organ where the performer controls loudness and cadence. Using currently available technology like sensors, digital control, and actuators what new acoustic instruments could combine both automation with improvised performance?
Dual Xylophone Glockenspiel
The diagram above of the dual xylophone shows the layout of the notes. Because a human is not playing this instrument, the notes are re-sequenced for spatial separation. The purpose is to separate the mirroring xylophones so that arpeggios bounce between them within a space as acoustic space is a key factor in the performance of my musical compositions. Because the separation of low notes in a stereo field is the most perceivable, the low notes start on the outer ends of the array and move inward. The notes are organized in sets of three similar to the arrangement of a clavichord to maximize the potential panning effect of arpeggios, chords, and rhythmic patterns.
1998 – 2015
Shakers and Percussion
1998 – 2015