sobota, 15. december 2018

32. Spider

When Stringer was finished I had to find a place on stage for it. As our stage is already full of equipment I decided to incorporate it into the Spider, a construction which used to hold our cymbals. The more I thought how to do that, the more clearer become that the whole Spider needs upgrade. I wanted to give the player more options so I also included an e-drum, new coil and three axes for sound effects and more dangerous outlook. And I also changed the base from rectangular into triangular.

ponedeljek, 01. oktober 2018

31. Plamen v prsih / Flame In the Chest

The most spectacular production with The Stroj collective this year took place at Ljubljana Castle. Regarding the process of creation and lots of pyrotechnics on the stage we decided to name it Plamen v prsih / Fire In The Chest.
No PR bullshit will follow, just some photos and a video. I hope you're gonna feel some excitement and thrill we had on stage during the performance.

nedelja, 26. avgust 2018

30. Stringer


What would you get if you merge a harph and a crossbow?
Would be lethal?
Would be loud?
Would be heavy?
Hell yeah and I named it Stringer!

There were two things I had to find before the final construction: truck leaf spring and piano strings.    It took me a few months to find them, but I was lucky enough so I didn't have to buy them. Luka Alkimist (and also a blacksmith) gave me a leaf spring and Iztok Melanšek from M4 Music Store gave me the whole set of piano strings which he held as a decoration on the wall of his shop. Thank you again guys, I did exactly what I promised!

When the frame was finished I called Kosta, master of blues guitar playing and making, if he could help me with installing the magnets. I've bought 6 Fender Jazz bass magnets and hoped for the best while Kosta installed them into the frame.

Stringer finally found its place on the rig of Spider in company with set of cymbals, e-drum, coil and three axes. Now it's time to discover its capabilities and learn to play it. What a thrill!

ponedeljek, 23. julij 2018

29. Sonograph

After many years of experimenting with cymatics (see older posts) I came across another way of visualizing sound with vibrating membrane. This time I stretched a rubber membrane across the speaker and then attached a small piece of mirror in the middle where movement of the membrane is the most intensive. As a medium I used a laser beam focused directly on the mirror and reflected further on the screen. When speaker starts to move the membrane and the mirror, laser beam, following the sound with mathematical precision, draws dynamic lissajous figures on the screen.
And here's where's physics ends and creative process starts....

četrtek, 21. junij 2018

28. Chladni Plates

I was asked if I could make a sound sculpture with chladni plates for visitors of Museum of Senses in Split, Croatia. While playing with violin bow on different plates and trying to get interesting patterns I was amazed again and again with this simple contraption which principles were complete mystery two centuries ago.

After finishing the sculpture I spend some more time with plates to see what another configuration is capable. This time I used electric driver and theremin as a sound source and the results were quite exciting.

sreda, 09. maj 2018

27. Operation DEWESoft

It was s month ago when Janez, a colleague and collaborator of mine, invited me to join him for a meeting at DEWESoft company from Trbovlje, Slovenia. Even if you're not from around here, you might have heard about Trbovlje in regards to Laibach, internationally renown alternative band which originally gathered in this industrial town almost four decades ago.

 Well, if we state that Laibach once put Trbovlje on the artistic map of the world, it is the DEWESoft who does that for Trbovlje on the global technological map. In short, company produces high-end measuring devices and develops special software which visualizes output data. Let me just mention that their systems were used on Space Shuttle launch pad, on International Space Station and for launching of Ariane rockets - you’d probably get the right impression on how very serious and passionate about their jobs these guys are.

So. It was quite an experience to sit at the table in their conference room and hear about how could we helped them. They were in midst of preparations for an annual conference for their partners and someone got an idea about a special musical performance, with music prepared especially for the occasion. And, for things not to be too simple, song has to feature one of their measuring modules as an instrument. Good. Things already felt interesting although we haven’t put down a single note yet. In fact, we never really use notes when composing, what we really needed at the moment was a place to experiment and rehearse with our retro futuristic gear.
In short: no problem. They calmly gave us an office in the basement and even door cards so we could come and work anytime as we wanted. As a long time freelancer I got scared for a moment that I got stuck with a regular job.

We had two weeks to accomplish the mission, so we brought basic equipment to the office and started right away. For the first few days there was not much to hear or show, since we spent it mostly on discussions about the composition and its performance with some loud beats thrashing through the building from time to time. And, the more the composition grew in our heads, the more gear appeared in the office. Which eventually become smaller and smaller. Cables, instruments, sound effects and metal rigs lying everywhere around, as always when we dive in the creative process. After few days, when we finally completed our project in the office was completely filled with kick, two toms, two snares, two drum pads, theremin, typewritter, efektor, dozens of cymbals, bells and coils, few effects, metal sheet, computer and, of course, our good ’ol friend, an angle grinder. Lots of toys for two pairs of hands.

The following days we finally took the sticks and tools in our hands and the basement area become loudly unsuitable for any serious work or even talk. Things couldn't get unnoticed and people started popping up, curiously checking what's going on. I appeared that Janez and I became quite an intriguing amusement during their work time. All of the guys seemed to be engineers, with some of them turned up to be musicians, so they quickly got an idea how to attach some sensors to our gear and visualize sound vibrations on their machines.

Finally, we had to incorporate one of those measuring devices into our composition. So, our team was briefly joined by new member Sašo who reprogramed their module into some kind of a rhythm machine which took a lead in a part of the composition.

Days flew by quickly as more and more fun escalated in our rehearsal room. One day we had an opportunity to meet Jure Knez and Andrej Orožen, the founders of the company. Duo, always sparkling with bright ideas, became quite enthusiastic about our work. It didn’t take long as they proposed a wish to perform with group of coworkers at the end of the conference. At first, quite surprised by their suggestion, we quickly picked ourselves up, got additional 20 barrels and held a special three-day workshop for them, to prepare their gig. Believe me, smashing a  metal barrel with XL wrench is not a piece of cake but Jure and Andrej didn't hesitate to get their hands dirty and easily learned the trick.

If you are interested in latest DEWESoft achievements, you will find the whole conference at a link bellow. Our performance starts on 27:00 and DEWESoft tribe rocks the place at the very end. Twice!

ponedeljek, 06. november 2017

26. Kymatikon in Museum of Senses in Prague

Few months ago I was invited to design two sound installations for Museum of Senses in Prague. So I got the chance for further development of my recent Kymatikon prototypes. I built two devices: Chladni plate with frequency generator and three cymatic loudspeakers connected to the electronic drum pads and a theremin. While kids and their parents are turning knobs and hitting the drums to make some music, they can also observe exciting, non-linear dance of quartz sand under two plexi glass domes.

Beside Kymatikon there are other interesting things like vortex tunnel, bed of nails and different illusions regarding our sight and perception of space. So if you are visiting Prague I recommend you to take a look of the Museum as well.