In 2015 and 2016, my Electronic Chamber Music ensemble responded to the theme of “Techno.” In collaboration with the students, we developed a series of instruments for playing Techno. The first iteration was known as the Tridents.
Photocells embedded in the Tridents are activated by the colored light controllers, which emit light pulses according to sequences programmed live by one performer. Performers can use the proximity of the controllers to interpret the sequences.
In 2016, the design evolved. We felt that the performers should have more rhythmic autonomy, and wanted to update the design. We added a third sensor to each instrument for a total of 15 possible voices, and migrated from PVC pipe to steel and stained wood. The controllers are slimmer and more compact. Performers can play rhythms in any note value down to 16th-note triplets with coded buttons on each controller, all synced to a master clock.
2 Improvisations with Candelabras