Electroacoustic Machines

I'm not a collector, I have one guitar and one bass that I play, and I'm not sure I will ever need more. But still, there were those cheesy beauties hiding in my storage. I was playing them when I was a kid, but now they have no use. A couple of months ago I was working on an exhibition and had an idea for a nice performance. I've made two self-playing devices using my Jolana Disko bass and Solo II guitar. No guitar was hurt or abused in the process - they are just mounted on a large wooden chassis and connected to all sort of devices. So here's the result:

The Machines were created around a very basic idea - to build a self-playing instrument. Two Machines utilize old guitars and some electronic garbage. The guitars function as self - oscillating sound sources while numerous triggers, amplifiers and effects change the sound into something that's better be heard than described in words.

In the beginning I planned to invite my friend musicians to operate the Machines at the exhibition but at the end they (the Machines) managed to play themselves fine almost without any help. They accompanied the exhibiton's opening performance. After the performance ended I switched them to quiet operation and enjoyed watching the visitors panic when the Machines would suddenly start playing loud or producing all sorts of weird sounds after being touched.

Technical description:
1.Electric guitars.
2.Wooden chassises.
3.Electronic garbage assembled into various amplifying and sound-blending devices.
5.Computer fans.
5.Different pieces of decorative artwork, old newspapers and junk garbage attached to the chassis.

Machine 1: approx. 160X90cm, about 15cm deep.
Machine 2: Approx. 160X80cm, about 25cm deep.
Weight: about 30kg. each

The Machines work as self-oscillating devices, converting electronic feedback, physical movement (of people around), waves of air (from fans) and other events into sound signals. The signals trigger electronic chains consisting of amplifiers and sound effects. The amplified signal is heard through various speakers attached to the chassis.
Due to the fact all the signal chains interact and each chain is triggered by various sound sources the final result is not monotonic - the Machines change their "music" from time to time and react to every person touching any part of it or even passing by. Numerous potentiometers and switches allow to turn the Machines into various "sound modes".

Sound files (recorder with both Machines playing):
Song 1 - 8.23MB
Song 2 - 4.71MB

More information on the ZONE exhibition and performance may be found at meatexz.com/zone.

Built by Sergey Engel

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