Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Stringless Cello update

With technology advancing at quantum speeds, I am discovering the importance of designing systems and objects with change in mind. For example, I asked Eric Jensen to design my electric cello in replaceable parts knowing that the electronics would leap ahead in just a few years- so we ended up with an instrument in which everything can be dismantled and the electronics stripped out and updated. With the stringless cello, I am discovering that replacement and upgrades are needed in ever shorter time frames. Lex van den Broek, who is masterminding the electronics and wiring is on top of the game with continual updates in hardware and function. In combination with Johan van Kreij, composer who is a wizard at MaxMSP, they make up a dream team in getting this project on stage. I am so excited to work with them and to be nearing the finish line!

Saturday, March 5, 2011


Fablab is the best kept secret in Amsterdam! Located in de Waag at the Nieuwe Markt and run by musician, designer, inventor Alex Schaub, it is filled with a huge array of tools and machines for designing and creating anything from fashion articles to musical instruments. It has milling machines, a laser cutter, embroidery and state of the art sewing machines, and expert help by an array of young devotees. There is a live video link with MIT where one can sign up for weekly lessons from the sister lab.
My own stringless cello was embodied there and Alex gave me extensive help with Illustrator when I was in the re-design phase. It is in the finishing stages now and I'll do some extensive blogging about its features once we premiere it in public. The CNMAT version is described in my blog from February 19, 2009.