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The Kid Should See This

Multilayered, mechanized music-making by Graham Dunning

Experimental music artist Graham Dunning plays with how music can be created through a mix of found objects and sound experiments. In Mechanical Techno Demonstration, he rigs up multiple layers of sound-making interactions on a turntable. From his site:

Several looping records spin on the same axle, ensuring they stay approximately in time with each other. I layer up locked groove records, audio triggers to analogue sytnhs, mechanically played percussion such as a cowbell or a cymbal, and mechanically triggered drum machines…

The technique is inherently clumsy and delicate, leading to frequent and multiple mistakes and accidents. The chance elements and unpredictable aspects lead to compositions I would never think to deliberately make.

You can see many of his “sketches” of the experiments in shorter clips on his YouTube channel. Check out his automatic cowbell:

Brutal autoreturn, in which a weight on the record knocks the tonearm back to an earlier part of the recording:

This laser cut plywood contact/stylus creates different rhythms over different patterns of adhesive copper on a record:

And in this one, entitled Music by the Metre, Dunning’s mix of contraptions make more of an irregular yet jazzy sound:

On this site, enjoy CYMATICS: Science + music = audio frequency visualizations, Hit the Beat: A drum machine sound experiment, Beat Blox, and an easy-at-home audio exploration: Lullatone’s Experiments Around the House.

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