Initially conceived as an abstract mechanism capable of producing musical patterns, Kyklophonon was intended to be a part of my diploma project for the Architecture Department of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Such a device would be the physical equivalent to the digital sequencer: an artifact that can produce numberless musical sequences through a manipulation of its physical parts.
This project eventually led to the full scale design and fabrication of a fully functional musical instrument. With a main body cut out of plywood, standing on four iron columns, its detailed parts produced either in laser cutters or by hand, embodying saz strings, ball bearings, fishing weights and piezoelectric transducers, the Kyklophonon incorporates a number of peculiar mechanisms that can be either manually handled or automated to produce a fully unique, ethereal sound.
The working principles are simple: a vertical system of freely sliding strings, tightened by suspended weights, is activated by a horizontal system of rotating discs with attached pins. This contact produces harmonious sequences which vibrate the instrument and are then amplified to become audible. Everything is variable: the notes can change through the strings’ sliding movement on the pulleys and the rhythm of contact depends on the position of the rubber band connecting the discs.