STEIM - Cracklebox
A by now legendary little noise box conceived and built by Michel Waisvisz, who was a sound artist and for a long time director of STEIM, the Amsterdam Institute for Electronic Music. His interest for ‘touched electronics’ came from his preference for a rougher kind of sound than the often clean and high-tech electronic music from the fifties and early sixties.
‘At some point I started playing by placing my fingers on the print board of a damaged electronic organ. By patching the different parts of the circuit through my – conductive – fingers and hands I became the thinking [wet] part of an electronic circuit and i started seeing my skin as a patchable cable, potentiometer and condensator.’ Nice thing is that the sounds depend on the person playing it, as no body is exactlly the same. The box comes with a 9V battery, it has no sound output, just a speaker, so it is completely ‘stand-alone’.
Want to build one yourself? We’ve also got a building kit and you can expand it with much more options!
For examples of how it sounds, go to http://freesound.iua.upf.edu/