kinetic sculptures and mechanical sounds

My current studio is Sculpture, which has been a lot of fun! Trying out new things I’ve never done before and thinking about different ways of creating.

The work I am currently constructing is a kinetic-sound machine; a typewritter with xylophone bars (maybe more instruments to be added). When you type something the hammers hit the bars and sound is created! And it still has it’s function of writing, as the hammers simply pass back and forth through the xylophone bars.

I’ve had a look at some other kinetic sculptures and found some really cool things. There’s an entire site devoted to ‘Odd Musical Instruments’.
One of these is a very cool ‘lamellophone’ (or vibrating tongue instruments) called ‘Spinal Rod Box’ made from surgical equipment. From the page: “The sound is amplified using a contact microphone and the pitches depend on the length of the threaded steel rods.” Listening to it without look at the image, it sounds as though it’s being played on bongos as well as some xylophone sounds.

Play Spinal Rod Box

A work by Stephen Cornford uses turntables and objects placed on them to create sound, and mixed in conjunction with each other to form a song. That piece can be viewed here. Below is a video of one of Cornford’s inventions. Cornford’s website.

Michael Delia is another sculpture sound artist who makes neat instruments, like ‘growthings’ and ‘kalimbaphones’.



Simple Penduling by Dan Senn. Found kitchen graters are suspended within a mesh of piano wire and struck by subaudio driven pendulums.

Simple Penduling

Simple Penduling


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