Category: Portfolio


TANR

tanr_1

TANR is a touch controlled digital noise box synthesizer. The synthesis engine is based on the principle of algorithmic noise. First TANR synthesizer were built in early 2016 and since then almost 30 have been built in workshops given in different cities and countries. This page should serve as both documentation of the project, and building instruction of the instrument.

Demo of early spot board prototype.

Latest firmware
Assembly instructions
List of finished TANRs
GitLab repository of the code

Sexyphone

My version of DIMI-S or Sexophone. Each player will need to hold on of the one of the metal pieces at the corners.

My version of DIMI-S or Sexophone. Each player will need to hold on of the one of the metal pieces at the corners.


This is project I have been planning to do for a long time. As an expert on Erkki Kurenniemi’s electrical music instruments I have had a chance to try out most of these weird beasts. The very instrument in question is DIMI-S, which Swedes call Kärleksmaskin (a love machine) and us Finns Sexophone. Sexyphone is my AVR based pocket version of this synthesizer.
Original DIMI-S in Kiasma. At the front the white noise gate unit I built for this instrument for Kurenniemi exhibition in Kiasma.

Original DIMI-S in Kiasma. At the front the white noise gate unit I built for this instrument for Kurenniemi exhibition in Kiasma.

Kurenniemi built two DIMI-S instruments. Today another unit is located in Kiasma museum in Helsinki, while the second one is in busy use at composer Ralph Lundsten’s studio in Stockholm, Sweden. Instruments differ a bit from another and original schematics exist only of the unit still located in Lundsten’s studio. My instrument attempts to mimic the functionality of Lundsten’s instrument. If you are fluent in Swedish, this instrument is thoroughly discussed in fine article by Jörgen Städje. I also happen to have the original schematics of this instrument in my possession which came in handy for sorting out some minor details.

Basic principle of the instrument is following. Instrument can be played alone, but more players, the merrier. Each player will hold one metallic knob in hand (sometimes also handcuffs have been used). By this they will be connected to the circuitry of the instrument. When they will touch each other, instrument will be playing notes and melodies.

Handcuffs may be used with Sexyphone.

Handcuffs may be used with Sexyphone.


My instrument is designed to be portable, so one can easily take it with to bar or where ever people usually touch each other. Four metallic screw bits at the corners will substitute as metallic knob. As long as all players will touch one of these with the other hand, touches will be tracked. One can also install handcuff electrodes to the corners when more dramatic setup is preferred. The instrument can either be heard through two piezo speakers (one for bass and one for treble) or line out through mini jack output.

The original instrument is equipped with light organ unit. My version substitutes this with a smaller system of six LEDs.

Min Fontän

Fontän in my bathroom.

A view from my bathroom.


This piece is spin off of project Privéfonteintjes I did with German artist/inventor Niklas Roy few years back. My friends were setting up a group exhibition in Titanik-gallery and they invited me to join them. Their exhibition was about electricity, water and hacking. Which brought back some memories. When I found out that the toilet in the gallery was free to use for one extra art work, I seriously needed to revisit this old project.
The control unit of Min Fontän.

The control unit of Min Fontän. LDR resistor will detect suitable mood for stroboscopic vibrations.


This Fontän is a water sculpturing fountain based on a LED strobe installed on the nozzle of the fountain. But the Fontän it self is just a part of this piece. I equipped the toilet with motion tracker which allowed me to detect when the toilet seat is occupied. Then light is switched of from the room and fountain (that our customer is most likely staring at) will activate. When our test subject will stretch his/her arm a bit, light will be switched back on. This again will deactivate the Fontän.

In order for this piece to work, one really needs to use the toilet without any hint what will happen. When the exhibition was opened the toilet of the gallery was not in a busy use and the piece did not get much exposure. However, during the opening of the exhibition which turned out to be a huge party until noon next day, there eventually was a long queue to the toilet. And luckily a stream of pleasantly surprised party people exiting the restroom. A success!

Min Fontän at the videokaffe exhibition in Titanik Gallery © Henrik Mikander