Absurd Instruments

 

Pool noodle improv scores, kazoo-to-text and spraycan-shakers.

I attended the absurd musical instrument hackathon last weekend, held at Queen Mary University’s Augmented Instruments Lab. There’s thorough documentation of the workshop on the their website including many videos of the individual projects.

Things I explored over the two days included:

  • An audio-based eTextile sensor that converts ‘boings’ to text.
  • Feeding the project idea generator from Schmiede with absurd musical instrument ideas. Have a play with it here: absurd instrument generator
  • A pool noodle improv score cue bot.
  • A kazoo mute, that converts kazoo to text (for silent practice).
  • A banana to text instrument to accompany the kazoo.
  • A tongue in cheek genre recogniser for the kazoo and banana (“melodic snack metal” being a favourite to be detected).
  • A pool noodle based ambisonic system.
  • A pool noodle ambisonic cue generator.
  • An egg shaker spray can for masking the noise of shaking your paint when graffitiing.
  • And finally, in the last hour, the “ten oh ten” a tiny 1-bit sequencer made with an M5Stack, that’s entirely based on the pun that the successor to the 808 and 909  would be the 10010.

As proof of completion, we received a suitably silly certificate of attendance 🙂