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.

Things 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.