Hybrid 'Violins'

Hybrid 'Guitars'

Hybrid 'Cellos'

Hybrid 'Basses' and larger works

Big Slingerland Orange1.jpg

Hybrid 'Pianos'

‘Urban Grand Piano’, 1998, 72 x 48 x 89(with top open). The interactive keyboard is a grand piano sized multi-media assemblage constructed ofreconfigured objects, machine parts, and other audio-visual items of wood, metal, and plastic that makes music and projects images at the stroke of a key. Each key triggers a different sound, light, and/or movement activating such things as slide projectors, radios, neon tubes, lights, tape recorders, and motors strumming strings and other resonant objects and devices. The keyboard requires the viewer/participant to improvise the creation of a multi-media composition as function and form collide in a collage environment of hyper-active hardware; a one-person opera of objects and images.

‘Urban Grand Piano’ , 1998, 72 x 48 x 89(with top open)

‘Urban Grand Piano’, 1998, 72 x 48 x 89(with top open)

 
‘K-Board’  (55 keys), 1983, 30 x 39 x 13 (on stand). The K-Board was fashioned from a 55-key organ keyboard with micro switches mounted under the keys which control 55 AC electrical plugs in front of the keys. Each key turns on whatever is plugged into the corresponding outlet. I put a single string directly under the keys lengthwise which is "fretted" or stopped by a small rubber foot on each key. An auto-strum wheel with picks strums the amplified string generating a continuous rhythm, and keys play bass-like microtonal melodies along with light images when pressed.

‘K-Board’ (55 keys), 1983, 30 x 39 x 13 (on stand). The K-Board was fashioned from a 55-key organ keyboard with micro switches mounted under the keys which control 55 AC electrical plugs in front of the keys. Each key turns on whatever is plugged into the corresponding outlet. I put a single string directly under the keys lengthwise which is "fretted" or stopped by a small rubber foot on each key. An auto-strum wheel with picks strums the amplified string generating a continuous rhythm, and keys play bass-like microtonal melodies along with light images when pressed.

 
‘K-Board II’  (12 keys), 2002 portable version of K-Board

‘K-Board II’ (12 keys), 2002 portable version of K-Board

 
‘Octavator’  (one octave), 1985, 34 x 39 x 10 (on stand). The Octavator uses one octave of keys with micro switches connected via telephone wires directly to the lamp inputs of six Carousel slide projectors that are aimed to the same area of the screen. Four keys trigger sequences of four slides that can be played live in any order. A master key advances all four slide projectors for the next group of four animated slides. The body of the Octavator is made from an aluminum crutch, a pneumatic door-closing mechanism, a shoe-size guide, ruler, and miscellaneous hardware in addition to the keyboard, It has four strings, two of which are fretted by the keyboard and/or plucking and bowing and is amplified with contact mics.’

‘Octavator’ (one octave), 1985, 34 x 39 x 10 (on stand). The Octavator uses one octave of keys with micro switches connected via telephone wires directly to the lamp inputs of six Carousel slide projectors that are aimed to the same area of the screen. Four keys trigger sequences of four slides that can be played live in any order. A master key advances all four slide projectors for the next group of four animated slides. The body of the Octavator is made from an aluminum crutch, a pneumatic door-closing mechanism, a shoe-size guide, ruler, and miscellaneous hardware in addition to the keyboard, It has four strings, two of which are fretted by the keyboard and/or plucking and bowing and is amplified with contact mics.’

 
‘Headboard Grand’  68x54x62, Test-Site Gallery, Brooklyn, 1992, The Headboard Grand is made from street-found materials including parts from a bed, crib and chairs with 18 strings played by battery-powered DC motors with “weed-eater” fishing line strummers, activated by the one-octave keyboard. The ethereal and high-pitched droning pitches are in contrast to the Baroque appearance of the piano itself.

‘Headboard Grand’ 68x54x62, Test-Site Gallery, Brooklyn, 1992, The Headboard Grand is made from street-found materials including parts from a bed, crib and chairs with 18 strings played by battery-powered DC motors with “weed-eater” fishing line strummers, activated by the one-octave keyboard. The ethereal and high-pitched droning pitches are in contrast to the Baroque appearance of the piano itself.

 
‘ Cybernetic Keyboard ’, size variable, Test-Site Gallery, Brooklyn, 1992 The Cybernaetic Keyboard has the two-octave keyboard controlling an elaborate arrangement of audio-visual electronics including rotating motorized objects that cast shadows, live radios, cassette tape recorders with loops, a TV set, and other miscellaneous objects allowing the viewer/participant to improvise a multi-disciplinary art/sound piece on the spot.

Cybernetic Keyboard’, size variable, Test-Site Gallery, Brooklyn, 1992 The Cybernaetic Keyboard has the two-octave keyboard controlling an elaborate arrangement of audio-visual electronics including rotating motorized objects that cast shadows, live radios, cassette tape recorders with loops, a TV set, and other miscellaneous objects allowing the viewer/participant to improvise a multi-disciplinary art/sound piece on the spot.

‘ Cybernetic Keyboard ’, size variable, Test-Site Gallery, Brooklyn, 1992

Cybernetic Keyboard’, size variable, Test-Site Gallery, Brooklyn, 1992

 
‘Projection Grand: An Incandescent Keyboard’ , 2002, 36 x 33 x 99. The piano/keyboard is an interactive audio-visual grand-piano-sized assemblage sculpture constructed of reconfigured objects, projectors, lamps, and miscellaneous electrical parts that mechanically projects dazzling complex light patterns at the stroke of its keys. When "played" by the viewer-participant, the two-octave keyboard projects overlapping moving images of complex white light and shadow on a wall and surfaces of a darkened exhibition area, activating the entire space with light, motion, and minimal sound all emanating from the keyboard itself. Sound is produced by a single tape recorder with a quiet drone to provide a canvas for the clicks and grinds of the lights and motors themselves as they are activated. Each of the 24 keys triggers a different projection and/or movement activating such things as slide projectors, spot lamps, clear light bulbs, and motors rotating lenses, mirrors, and other optical objects. The keyboard requires the viewer/participant to improvise on the spot the creation of a multi-media composition of light and sound as function and form collide in a collage environment of hyper-active hardware.

‘Projection Grand: An Incandescent Keyboard’, 2002, 36 x 33 x 99. The piano/keyboard is an interactive audio-visual grand-piano-sized assemblage sculpture constructed of reconfigured objects, projectors, lamps, and miscellaneous electrical parts that mechanically projects dazzling complex light patterns at the stroke of its keys. When "played" by the viewer-participant, the two-octave keyboard projects overlapping moving images of complex white light and shadow on a wall and surfaces of a darkened exhibition area, activating the entire space with light, motion, and minimal sound all emanating from the keyboard itself. Sound is produced by a single tape recorder with a quiet drone to provide a canvas for the clicks and grinds of the lights and motors themselves as they are activated. Each of the 24 keys triggers a different projection and/or movement activating such things as slide projectors, spot lamps, clear light bulbs, and motors rotating lenses, mirrors, and other optical objects. The keyboard requires the viewer/participant to improvise on the spot the creation of a multi-media composition of light and sound as function and form collide in a collage environment of hyper-active hardware.

Projection Grand wt.jpg

‘Projection Grand: An Incandescent Keyboard’

 
‘Egg Crate Grand: A Soundproof Piano’ , 2004, 57 x 50 x 90(with top open). The grand piano-sized assemblage is constructed solely from egg crates found on the street by the Broken Egg restaurant in Ann Arbor near where the artist lived while teaching at the University of Michigan in 2003-04. Here the shape of the piano as an evocative sculptural form is referenced, in addition to the grassroots use of egg cartons as soundproofing in home recording studios of years past. It becomes a silent, highly absorbent, soundproof piano - the perfect instrument for a performance of John Cage’s “silent” work 4’33”.

‘Egg Crate Grand: A Soundproof Piano’, 2004, 57 x 50 x 90(with top open). The grand piano-sized assemblage is constructed solely from egg crates found on the street by the Broken Egg restaurant in Ann Arbor near where the artist lived while teaching at the University of Michigan in 2003-04. Here the shape of the piano as an evocative sculptural form is referenced, in addition to the grassroots use of egg cartons as soundproofing in home recording studios of years past. It becomes a silent, highly absorbent, soundproof piano - the perfect instrument for a performance of John Cage’s “silent” work 4’33”.

 
‘Rural Baby Grand’ , 2002, 60 x 48 x 70 (with top open). Constructed humbly from branches, twigs, screens, a cane, a crutch, and bits of discarded electronics, in an “Adirondack” style, the piano exudes a transparent poetic folk art quality as it mixes “high” and “low” art forms. The triangular body refers more to the harpsichord than the modern grand with its sweeping wing lid and larger scale. Except for the hint of sound potential provided by a few tongue depressors as keys, the piano is silent.

‘Rural Baby Grand’, 2002, 60 x 48 x 70 (with top open). Constructed humbly from branches, twigs, screens, a cane, a crutch, and bits of discarded electronics, in an “Adirondack” style, the piano exudes a transparent poetic folk art quality as it mixes “high” and “low” art forms. The triangular body refers more to the harpsichord than the modern grand with its sweeping wing lid and larger scale. Except for the hint of sound potential provided by a few tongue depressors as keys, the piano is silent.

 
‘Styro-tone Grand Piano: a Rhythm Reliquary’ , 2005, 62 x 42 x 73 (with top open). Made from street-found Styrofoam containers and other detritus, the sculpture plays with the idea of reliquaries (sacred objects) presented in a kind of natural history museum environment, referencing a cabinet of curiosities. Constructions of horseshoe shell crabs, insects, violin parts, and other found objects reflect the iconography of string instruments. The lightness of the material makes it very portable, and although playable as a percussion instrument (amplified with multiple transducers), it is predominantly a visual piece with only one string and no keyboard.

‘Styro-tone Grand Piano: a Rhythm Reliquary’, 2005, 62 x 42 x 73 (with top open). Made from street-found Styrofoam containers and other detritus, the sculpture plays with the idea of reliquaries (sacred objects) presented in a kind of natural history museum environment, referencing a cabinet of curiosities. Constructions of horseshoe shell crabs, insects, violin parts, and other found objects reflect the iconography of string instruments. The lightness of the material makes it very portable, and although playable as a percussion instrument (amplified with multiple transducers), it is predominantly a visual piece with only one string and no keyboard.

 
‘Zen Fan Grand’ , 2006, 68 x 48 x 76(with top open). To create the simplest possible “piano” structure (with fanned top and removable legs), I cut wood strips into 2”, 4”. 6”, 8”, 1’, 18”, 2’, and 1/2 ft. increments up to 6’ lengths. They were arranged in the most obvious manner to provide rigidity, with no additional cutting, using a hot-glue gun and brad stapler. The key configuration is the simplest method I could come up with using the pieces and rubber bands to make a playable (and removable) keyboard. The “notes” are essentially the same “clink”, but have very subtle differences, especially when amplified. These sounds are the antithesis of a standard piano, and emphasize the percussive aspect of the instrument.

‘Zen Fan Grand’, 2006, 68 x 48 x 76(with top open). To create the simplest possible “piano” structure (with fanned top and removable legs), I cut wood strips into 2”, 4”. 6”, 8”, 1’, 18”, 2’, and 1/2 ft. increments up to 6’ lengths. They were arranged in the most obvious manner to provide rigidity, with no additional cutting, using a hot-glue gun and brad stapler. The key configuration is the simplest method I could come up with using the pieces and rubber bands to make a playable (and removable) keyboard. The “notes” are essentially the same “clink”, but have very subtle differences, especially when amplified. These sounds are the antithesis of a standard piano, and emphasize the percussive aspect of the instrument.