Maelstrom 2600 –

Maelstrom 2600 is a a wearable instrument that is played simultaneously by multiple people. Maelstrom 2600 uses soft circuit technologies to translate a modular synthesizer into multiple costumes which can be used in participatory performance.

Each costume will feature embedded audio modules that can be played individually but can also be patched to other costumes to shape the sounds and rhythm.

Over the next five months I will be working on Maelstrom 2600 with the assistance of STEIM who will be consulting and supporting the project.  Henry Collins is also working on the project to guide the audio direction.

We made our first residency visit to Steim recently to kickstart the project.  There are so many aspects to the project that all need to fit together so it was really useful to chat with the different staff there about materials, logistics, technologies, performance and possibilities.

Vinyl cut circuits

During this visit I investigated cutting vinyl circuits and used the machines at fablab to try cutting a circuit.  I’m hoping that these circuits will be durable within costumes so I’ll be testing this one to see what it can withstand.

vinyl circuit

The vinyl cut I made was fairly basic.  I was wrestling with eagle software for a while until I decided to draw a basic lunetta inspired circuit to keep things simple and to keep my options open for testing.

“A Lunetta is a basic concept, the pins of the Ics are brought right out to a panel that you can connect together using wires.  Some people use alligator clips to connect them, some people use bannana jacks, but it’s all the same.” - Intro to Lunetta CMOS synths

 STEIM Bunker

We also spent a fair bit of time playing with the wonderful synthesizers that dwell in the STEIM Bunker.  Including a VCS, System 100, korg ms-20 and some odd Steim creations.  We made some recordings and Henry also combined them into tracks using local sounds and recordings in the STEIM studio, these should be posted to the STEIM blog in the near future.

Now it’s back to France to get busy with Maelstrom 2600.  I’ll be posting updates as the project progresses at my blog here as well as some milestones on this Steim blog.

Maelstrom 2600 is made possible through support from the Australia Council

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