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Pencil Fields - analog gestural interface controlling Bugbrand Modular

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Published on May 9, 2011

This is a live performance by Palle Dahlstedt on a custom built instrument, using a simple pencil drawing as a gestural interface for controlling complex analog synthesis (on a Bugbrand Modular). The instrument works by creating a voltage potential field in the graphite/pencil markings on the paper using custom movable electrodes made from coins. Then, various control voltages are extracted from other points on the paper, controlling various aspects of the synthesized sound.

A big thanks to Tom Bugs for very valuable electronics advice!

The sound is recorded directly from the BugBrand Modular (with a slight reverb), and from contact mics on the pencil sharpener. There is no normal microphone, which explains the slightly awkward silence in the beginning, while I'm drawing.

Recorded at the second performance (of two), May 6th, 2011, Gothenburg, Sweden. Concert arranged by Levande Musik (www.levandemusik.org)

This work is part of the research project Creative Performance at University of Gothenburg, funded by the Swedish Research Council.

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