Thursday, February 16, 2006

The Purple Lunchbox

I've decided give my "percussively-triggered radio device" a somewhat 'snappier' name. As it was recently re-built inside a purple plastic child's lunchbox (20p from Exeter Recycling Centre), it's now "The Purple Lunchbox":

The Purple Lunchbox
The Purple Lunchbox

Those are two 'doorbell'-type switches which are wired in parallel across the output of a small radio contained within the box. This may soon be supplemented by an MP3 player so I can trigger various pre-selected voices, drones, horn sounds, etc.. There's a headphone jack which bypasses the switches so I can "cue up" the sound I want, a tuning dial, and an output jack from which I can run a cable to an amplifier.

The two switches allow for a much freer hand-percussion style than the previous one-switch model. The idea of this device is to generate a new kind of percussion, using any sound (music, speech, noise) which might happen to be in the airwaves at the time the switches are depressed. Percussively-broken up speech is particularly effective (I first noticed this listening to an Eno album - was it The Shutov Assembly?)

At the moment I have to open the box to change radio band (from MW to FM, for example), but this device is still in any embryonic stage. Still, I think I'll stick with the current container. It has a pleasing compactness, a handle and a certain charm...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey marilyn manson had a big 'lunchbox' thing during th early parts of his career - quite a collection, all's told... i think there's even a song about them

10:14 PM  

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