Music and Technology Seminar Series


Trimpin’s computer-driven musical contraptions defy the constraints of traditional instruments. Combining digital technology with everyday salvaged materials, Trimpin has invented ways of playing everything from giant marimbas to a 60-foot stack of guitars using MIDI commands. Taking inspiration equally from the junkyard as the museum and the concert hall, Trimpin often creates these eccentric and interactive instruments from found materials, including saw blades, toy monkeys, duck calls, beer bottles, bunsen burners, slide projectors, turkey basters, and pottery wheels. In his creative experiments, Trimpin engages the visual, spatial, and kinetic properties of sound to “play instruments in such a way that no matter how complex the composition of the timing, it can be pushed over the limits.”

Read more about Trimpin’s visit on our blog

The New Yorker: Perpetual Motion
The Village Voice: Hendrix from Heaven
New York Times: The Pop Life: The Sound of Sculpture

Trimpin is a German-born composer and sound artist who has lived and worked in Seattle since 1979. His sound sculptures, installations and set designs have been developed in collaboration with artists such as Merce Cunningham, Samuel Beckett, Conlon Nancarrow and the Kronos Quartet. His work has appeared at museums, galleries, and festivals across the Pacific Northwest. The documentary film TRIMPIN: The Sound of Invention premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival. He is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and the MacArthur “Genuis” grant. Learn more about Trimpin.


Join Us At This Public Event

Trimpin: Artist’s Lecture and Demonstration

Trimpin: Artist’s Lecture and Demonstration
Wednesday, April 17, 2013


Trimpin: The Sound of Invention Screening with artist Q&A
Friday, April 19, 2013
7:00 pm | 34-101

50 Vassar Street, Cambridge, MA
Free and open to the public
Film directed by Peter Esmonde
Watch the trailer

Screening part of the Cambridge Science Festival

Co-presented by Music and Theater Arts.

This residency is made possible by the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology. CAST connects artists, scientists, and engineers through a practice of experimentation, risk-taking and imaginative problem-solving.