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Kyklophonon, 2015

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 an original musical instrument. With a main body cut out of plywood, standing on four iron columns, 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 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.