long-term focus: string accordion
i've worked on a digital musical instrument (DMI) i call the string accordion for ~3 years.
i'm still working toward an instrument that i'm happy with.
each iteration of the instrument has taught me a lot about design and development,
so much so that i wrote a masters thesis on the process. find it here.
long story short, i am a musician developing a practice around a deliberately evolving instrument.
i am an artist/tinkerer modifying my tools to follow my changing perspective.
those who make their own tools can break "the rules."
i'm working toward a future of more tool-makers and rule-breakers.
this was my first foray into the string accordion. it started as a box with retractable strings coming out of it, and evolved to include LED-lit buttons and a couple toggle switches. i recognize this period as my most purely exploratory time developing the string accordion so far, and i hope to recapture some of that inspiration as work continues into its fourth year. the original demo video is below.
this iteration marked the first major redesign of the instrument from top to bottom: a kerf-bent, curved enclosure with rows of (poor quality) buttons changed the interaction metaphor from that of a noise machine to a fretted, bowed lute. the sound design on this iteration featured several models of bowed strings. ultimately, the poor button quality made this iteration too unreliable to work with.
the most recent iteration was meant to be a simplification of the string accordion idea. it ended up more complicated than previous iterations! this string accordion has prompted a re-exploration of the original concept and execution, in search of usability and purpose. the development of this iteration is probably the best documented of the three main designs to date. pictures, design notes, and reflections are found in my thesis.