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PICKUP LINES, 2017

"Pickup Lines" is an interactive sound installation / experimental music controller that facilitates connections between people through music creation. By pointing electromagnets and other hand-held devices at guitar pickups attached to the wall, strangers can begin an ephemeral musical dialogue that forms a singular, evolving composition in real time.  The installation was exhibited at Next Art Night. 

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Materials

The wall was essentially a deconstructed electric guitar and was constructed of ebonized maple planks, two guitar amplifiers and a delay, reverb and other guitar effects pedals. 

 

Sound

The project was inspired by an idea of how to play a guitar without plucking the strings. I've seen musicians use electric razors pointed at pickups to create interesting sound effects so I tried the same and delay and reverb effects pedals. Unexpectedly, playing a Clarisonic face brush with a low battery (indicated by 5 short pulses) sounded incredible. If you were able to control both the frequency of vibration and the timing and length of the pulses you could create a digitally controlled sampler that produces analog sound.