Leonardo Music Journal Volume 17 (2007)

with Compact Disc

Leonardo Music Journal is a print journal, published annually. Leonardo Music Journal is edited by Leonardo/the International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology, and published by the MIT Press.

ONLINE ACCESS: Subscriptions to LMJ include access to electronic versions of journal issues plus other supplemental material, available on The MIT Press website.

ORDER: Subscriptions, individual issues and articles can also be ordered from The MIT Press.

PAST ISSUES: Browse tables of contents and abstracts of past issues of Leonardo and LMJ

My Favorite Things: The Joy of the Gizmo

Table of Contents

Introduction: My Favorite Things: The Joy of the Gizmo

by Nicolas Collins

Articles and Notes


Electronic Musical Instruments: Experiences of a New Luthier
by Bert Bongers

ABSTRACT: The author reflects on his experiences as a designer of new electronic musical instruments, which have led to further insights and applications in other domains such as video performance, architectural design and knowledge applied in the general field of human-computer interaction.

The Springboard: The Joy of Piezo Disk Pickups for Amplified Coil Springs
by Eric Leonardson

ABSTRACT: The Springboard is a do-it-yourself instrument made from readily available materials: An amplified soundboard makes the vibrations of coil springs and a variety of other small and nonprecious objects audible. Thanks to a simple piezo contact microphone, the Springboard's humble constitution belies the richness of its sounds, a signature of the author’s activities in live and recorded works across many art disciplines.

Rush Pep Box
by David Toop

ABSTRACT: The author relates his experiences, going back 3 decades, with the WEM Rush Pep Box, as well as the origin of the device.

Pretty Paper Rolls: Experiments in Woven Circuits
by Peter Blasser

ABSTRACT: The author presents a history of his efforts to design sustainable and economical circuit construction on paper, which he finds more akin to craft than industry. He focuses on a collection of modules called Rollz-5, which creates organic rhythms out of geometrical forms. A future application of this work will be to create radio devices based on the Platonic solids.


Artists' Statements

Clip Art
by Phil Archer

Audio Y Connectors: My Secret to Instant Guerrilla Oscillators, Raw Synthesis and Dirty Cross Modulations
by Andy Keep

Hearing Loss
by John Wynne:

The Davis Instruments Vantage Pro Weather Station
by Richard Garrett

The Dictaphone in My Life
by James Saunders

A Sony Walkman Pro Cassette Delay
by Richard Lerman

When Airwaves Swing: Confessions of a Radio Enthusiast
by Brett Ian Balogh

Distorted RF Lullabies
by César Dávila-Irizarry

Boss GE-7 E.Q. and Flexible Speaker Array as Tonal Filters
by Vic Rawlings

Real-Time Prototyping in Live Electronic Music: A Modular Crackle Instrument
by James Fei

The Priority of the Component, or In Praise of Capricious Circuitry
by John Bowers and Vanessa Yaremchuk

MAIZ: A Cybertotemic Instrument
by Guillermo Galindo-gal*in dog

Arrowbows, Chips and Chirps
by Jane Henry

Former Guitars and Cocolinas
by Neil Feather

G&L SC-1: Obscure Object of Sonic Desire
by Robert Poss

Sound Shapes, Drumming Infomercials and the Wonders of the Casio Sk1
by Jeremy Hight

Lovid's Kiss Blink Sync Vessel
by Kyle Lapidus and Tali Hinkis

Computers as Musical Instruments? From computermusic I <exploded view> to bandoneonbook
by hans w. koch

Transition of an Instrument: The aeo Sound Performance Project
by Kazuhiro Jo

The Transfigured Instrument: Player Piano
by Laura Emelianoff

Simulated Chance and Staggered Gear Ratios
by Marc Berghaus

Drum Circle Instruments
by Bruce Cana Fox


More Articles and Notes

The Vocal Memnon and Solar Thermal Automata
by Michael Duffey

ABSTRACT: A /memnonium/ is a self-actuating system that generates music using solar energy. The name comes from the statue of Memnon, a famous tourist attraction in the Greco-Roman world that was said to emit sound when warmed by the morning sun. The Memnon statue inspired the design of musical automata in later periods, to which there are many historical references. Several intriguing technologies and engineering methods may be well suited for modern memnonium design efforts. However, full realization of solar thermoacoustic and thermokinetic sculpture would likely require deep collaboration between physics, music and other disciplines. In modern times, only a few simple proof-of-concept memnonia have been constructed.

From Stethoscopes to Headphones: An Acoustic Spatialization of Subjectivity
by Charles Stankievech

ABSTRACT: Working from a phenomenological position, the author investigates "in-head" acoustic localization in the context of the historical development of modern listening. Starting from the development of the stethoscope in the early 19th century, he traces novel techniques for generating space within the body and extrapolates from them into contemporary uses of headphones in sound art. The first half of the essay explores the history, techniques and technology of "in-head" acoustics; the second half presents three sound artists who creatively generate headphone spatializations. The essay ends with reflections on how these sound "imaging" techniques topologically shape our subjectivities.

Cyberinstruments via Physical Modeling Synthesis: Compositional Applications
by Juraj Kojs, Stefania Serafin and Chris Chafe

ABSTRACT: This paper details compositional approaches in music for cyberinstruments by means of physical modeling synthesis. Although the focus is on compositions written with the models simulated by the digital waveguides, modal synthesis and mass-spring-damper algorithms, music written with other modeling techniques is also reviewed.


LMJ17 CD Companion


The Art of the Gremlin: Inventive Musicians, Curious Devices
Sarah Washington: CD Companion Introduction: The Art of the Gremlin

Tracklist and Credits

CD Contributors' Notes

Dan Wilson: Printar (Study One) [edit]
NotTheSameColor: bin_op
Rotted Orange: Birthday Bull
Kunst.ruch.ter: Grandpaís broken hearing aid
Owl Project: Bubo Bubo
Norbert Möslang: solar_greetings
Moshi Honen: Birds Do It
Grace and Delete: Splittens
Haco: Pencil Organ '04
Leonardo Di Crappio: America, Torture Capital of the World
Ferran Fages: DESTENS
Oscillatorial Binnage: Taut Wires, Lice and Flies
Børre Mølstad: tubafeedback
Rhodri Davies: Camber
Knut Aufermann and Tetsuo Kogawa: fm:i/o
Toshimaru Nakamura: nimb#41
Ivan Palacky: In the Knitting Mood



2007 Leonardo and Leonardo Music Journal Author Index
2007 Leonardo Electronic Almanac Author Index
Leonardo Network News

Updated 18 February 2009