We've been doing a lot of research towards the design of our synth for Fort Process and some interesting responses to our debut blog post. We were honoured to get some input from father of circuitbending Q. Reed Ghazala who suggests possibilities of water-controlled synthesis:
Our friend Hannah helpfully suggested that we look at Thomas Henry's 'Mega Percussive Synthesizer'. The theory page about this synth has a wealth of useful ideas including the following:
This is very relevant to our concepts for the circuit since we will be using an AM radio chip as a noise source and intend to evoke sounds inspired by the Fort including gunshots and the ocean.
Radio was very important during the world wars when Newhaven Fort was an active military site so we have been looking for inspiration at wartime radios. The rugged and often improvised DIY construction of these devices is reminiscent of the aesthetic of our own noise instruments. Below is a collage of interesting things we found on radio devices and some of our video hardware imagery.
After looking at arial views of Newhaven Fort and this tunnel video I was interested in the shards of light cast in the dark tunnel and have done some rough sketches of artwork for the PCB. We are limited with the amount of colours so may end up with textured patterns, see below.
- Drawings by Lisa McKendrick
We've modified the diagram to show our idea for having touch control pads and a diagram of the chip we are wanting to use:
We are designing a synth in the form of Newhaven Fort as part of Fort Process, a sound art and installation event on 22 September 2018. This mysterious place with it's tunnels and history of two world wars has inspired some curiosity in us. The birds eye view of the site prompted ideas for a synth which we will be documenting in this blog. Below is our initial diagram which gives an idea of the shape.
The synth will have a radio receiver chip (schematic above). We've tried this chip out on the breadboard (see below). Notice how the black component (variable resistor) resembles the gun emplacement !
I'm particularly interested in the relationship to the coast, it's function for guarding the land and it now being a dysfunctional site but a historical place to visit and a space for art. Below is a picture of the coast next to the site. We are designing artwork for the synth and will work with this concept for our drawings.