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a hybrid electroacoustic instrument.


Philosophy behind the Design


For me music is expressive story telling. You use elements of surprise, extra accents, volume control to make the story exciting and you keep a close watch to the audience to keep track whether your efforts have result. Or better as an artist I think I should place myself in the position of that audience and know that at least I will be captivated. Tiny variations in sound parameters and very precise timing are most important. Be a little of and your story is lost, the tension gone.

That tension has a strong physical aspect for me. Not in the sense of extra movement and a cramped face to emphasise the meaning but hearing the physicality through the minute details in the sound. Personally I strive for  natural movements that make the way the sound is shaped through them believable.

I am no advocate of 100% control though. Musical instruments also those of the past or better especially those of the past have inherently a will of their own. And people that play with 100% control sometimes forget that they still have to do effort to tell a story.…..

A good story teller can control a certain part of the expression of what is sounding at that precise moment. The story teller pauses for extra effect and is sensitive for the best moment to continue again. Or the story teller shapes the dynamic contour of his/her voice. In essence the story teller controls that part that he/she feels important at that moment. So in music that could mean that you control the roughness of your sound in the melody over a further randomly generated track…. The control should further be as continuous as possible considering afore mentioned precise timing of tiny variations.

Everybody is free to find his or her own way of storytelling but for me the connection between physical aspects of performing is paramount. It is not my own natural strength and that is probably why I have been fascinated for example by South African / Dutch saxophone player Sean Bergin who I have listened to closely for years while he played the most brutal solo’s with wrong notes, sounds and total oblivion of where and when he was. Still there was an intensity nobody could deny. It is his legacy and others with him that I like to transport to the digital world by combining the acoustic and digital worlds.

The late Michael Waisvisz was subject to that intensity as well. I think that his closeness to the Dutch impro scene must have inspired his ‘the hands’ instrument. I thought it a pity that he did not develop extra depth on the instrument in the later years of his career. Personally I think there is still a lot to gain in this direction.