Mar 14, 2011

Tape-bow Violin, v2.0

When a Laurie Anderson lecture proves seminal...

Young St. Louisian composer and musician David MacDonald, having gotten inspired by Laurie Anderson's tape-bow violin as an undergraduate student some years before, has now created the Sampolin, the tape-bow violin's digital version.

The Sampolin has got the shape of an analogue violin but it's filled inside with electronics and it's got some extra knobs and buttons.

Similarly to the original, a certain short sample of sound is assigned to the bow: the sample 'starts' at one end, and it 'ends' at the other end of the bow. If the bow touches the the string on the Sampolin, the string tells the computer which part of the bow is touching it, so the computer will tell which part of the sample to be played. By pushing the buttons aligned on the neck, the player can easily switch between the samples he wants to play. Plus, by turning the tuners in the pegbox, instead of fine-tuning the strings, the player can add extra effects to the raw sound, for example an additional musical tone that is extracted from the original sample.

Watch David's introduction of the Sampolin: