Leonardo Music Journal, Volume 17

December 2007

Contents

Introduction

Articles and Notes

  • Electronic Musical Instruments: Experiences of a New Luthier
    Get at MIT Press

    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
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    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
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    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
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    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

More Articles and Notes

  • The Vocal Memnon and Solar Thermal Automata
    Get at MIT Press

    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 The Memnon statue inspired the design of musical automata in later periods, to which there are many historical references.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
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    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
    Get at MIT Press

    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

CD Contributors' Notes

2007 Leonardo and Leonardo Music Journal Author Index

2007 Leonardo Electronic Almanac Author Index

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