I designed and built my first electroacoustic sound palette in l991. Inspired by such diverse sources as the live electronics of cellist Russell Thorne and the amplified table top arrays of Hugh Davies, I sought to explore similar sound fields in a different hand-held instrumental form. Wooden and metal rods sit perpendicular around the outer edge of an artist's palette amplified by a contact microphone attached to the back of the instrument. The rods may be bowed, plucked, struck, or caressed to produce a surprising variety of sounds that may be at once organic or mechanical, delicate or ferocious.
My early solo work with this instrument has been documented on the CD ELSEWHERES released in l996. In the last few years I have increaseingly used the ampified palette in ensemble performances. A sound palette improvisation with members of the Nihilist Spasm Band has been released on the NOMUSIC FESTIVAL anthology produced by E.K. Records in l998 and a palette with electronics duet with tenor saxophonist Steve Nelson-Raney is invcluded on the Penumbra CD breathing. Most recently the amplified palette is the focus of a series of 7"45 rpm records released by Penumbra Music as the LOST DATA seeries.
The palette pictured here was built in l997 for the exhibition "The Shapes of Sound" at Woodland Pattern Book Center in Milwaukee.
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