Light Into Tones, in an Optoelectronic Hurdy-Gurdy With Rotating Wheels [Video, Images]
This isn’t like any Hurdy-Gurdy you’ve seen or heard before.
Derek Holzer’s optoelectronic Tonewheels Hurdy-Gurdy is a combination of mechanical, optical, and electronic elements, part sculpture and part instrument. It recalls vintage mechanical and optical instruments, but with a sound that is decidedly modern and strange.
In the translation, something wonderful happens: this becomes a serious punk instrument, producing surprising, hard-edged sounds. The wheels turn, and the gizmo rocks.
Combining disciplines in this sort of design also means merging different skill sets, so it’s telling that input for the instrument has come from other artists, including friend-of-the-site circuit designer Eric Archer, who has been involved in our Handmade Music series (now MusicMakers). Coming full circle (ahem), I’m thrilled that Mr. Holzer will be organizing MusicMakers at CTM here in Berlin. We have a call out now to participate in the hacklab for that event; I’ll share more details on that event here in the coming days.
I’m a great fan of Derek’s work; there’s plenty to explore below and I hope we cover more soon.
This is just one piece out of the Tonewheels project, all working with this medium of physical, optical discs. Here’s a beautiful video from another iteration:
The over-arching project has its own page:
The Hurdy-Gurdy is described on Derek’s blog:
And lots of other projects, including his new Solstice Soundboxes, are detailed there, as well:
Hope some of you get to see Derek and me in person in Berlin next month, and for everyone else, we’ll see you on the Internet.
All photos courtesy the artist.
Redirecting to Create Digital Music