Trimpin: Musical Sculptor
May 4, 2009 1:32 PM   Subscribe

Seattle-based German artist Trimpin makes sculptural musical instruments. He was profiled in a mini-documentary by Washington public TV station KBTC a couple of years ago. Here are videos of some other works of art he's created, Fire Organ, Liquid Percussion, Cello, Sensors and Record Players, Contraption at Seattle-Tacoma Airport, MIDI-controlled Player Piano and Sheng High. Kyle Gann wrote an essay by that placed Trimpin in the tradition of John Cage, Harry Partch and other avant-garde American musical inventors. The audio of a nearly hour and a half long 1990 interview with Trimpin by Charles Amirkhanian can be downloaded from the Internet Archive. Another, more light-hearted interview in connection to his show at this year's SXSW, where a documentary about him premiered (trailer).
posted by Kattullus (5 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Here's a lovely little anecdote from a short Seattle Times piece on Trimpin:
Trimpin harmonizes with his coffee mill every morning — he hums along with the grating, alto screeching of the grinding beans.

He hums a third or a fifth above the whir of his vacuum cleaner, too.
The piece also includes a short clip of one of his toy piano installations.
posted by Kattullus at 1:34 PM on May 4, 2009

Thanks for the post, Kattullus. This guy's name has once or twice flickered across my radar, but has just as quickly disappeared, somehow. I'm glad you've placed him squarely on my computer screen now, for investigation!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:53 PM on May 4, 2009

Fire organ = way cool.
Water percussion = way annoying.

Neat post. Does he have any music files that can be downloaded?
posted by cjorgensen at 5:36 PM on May 4, 2009

None that I can find, cjorgensen. Trimpin has never wanted to have his music recorded. He goes into the reasons for this in the interview.
posted by Kattullus at 7:25 PM on May 4, 2009

This is all so amazing! Thanks for posting.
posted by a womble is an active kind of sloth at 9:08 PM on May 4, 2009

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