Friday, August 27, 2010

Checking Out Musical Paintings

While in San Diego I stayed with my friends Dave and Andrew in Andrew's house in Carlsbad. To say their place is a hub of creativity would be an understatement. Dave's (among other things) an artist, a webmaster, a budding musician, and an excellent writer. Andrew's a programmer, a master problem solver, a painter/artist, and also a musician. On any given day that you stop by their place, they might be: working on RF-controlled model planes, playing music, painting, practicing martial arts, and/or circuit bending. It's the intersection of a couple of these interests that grabbed my attention while I was there.

As you might know about me by now, I love places, events, and things where different elements intersect. I've written in the past about places where cultures intersect but I also enjoy when someone has fused together different ideas and turned them into something new. Andrew has taken his enjoyment of painting and circuit bending and has transformed these disparate things into this:

What you're seeing is a painting, which Andrew made, wired with a home-made musical instrument. Not only can you look at and enjoy his paintings, you get to play them at the same time. Here's Andrew showing the reverse view of the above painting:

Each painting/instrument is unique. Some are "free standing" in that all the music controls are on and in the painting. You control the sound experience by touching the painting itself. Others are tied into "real" musical instruments like an organ and/or pedals on the floor. One I particularly liked had a toy gun connected to it, which allowed you to pull the trigger to change the sound. You can see the toy gun on the keyboard in the above photo. Here's another painting with only a couple of visible controls:

Since you really need to see and hear the artwork to appreciate what they've done with it, I took some videos of random pieces of Andrew's performances. In this first one, Andrew is playing a three-piece painting that is connected to the organ he is sitting at.

The second video is of Andrew playing one of the "stand-alone" paintings:

Andrew and Dave are working on some ideas based what they've already done. I loved the ideas and hope that they can actually build them out. Thanks Dave and Andrew for letting me crash at your place. I had a great time and I love your creativity. Keep up the good work! :-)


  1. Ha-ha, awesome! Andrew needs a haircut! And where's my former favorite boss?

  2. LOVE the post! Thanks for the compliments. I like thinking that our place would be considered a hub of creativity. I plan on ensuring the same holds true for me and Jen's new place.

    And hi Olga! Good to see you boppin' about.


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