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.”

About the Residency

In Spring 2013, sound artist Trimpin presented a lecture/demonstration for the class “Music and Technology” taught by Evan Ziporyn, Faculty Director of the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology. Over the course of the semester, Ziporyn brought twenty prominent sound and multimedia artists to campus for lectures, demonstrations, workshops and performances open to both students and the general public alike. 

The 2013 Spring Sound Series series laid the groundwork for MIT Sounding, an innovative annual performance series that blurs the boundaries between contemporary and world music founded by Evan Ziporyn in 2014.

The 2013 MIT Spring Sound Series is presented by the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST) and MIT Music and Theater Arts.


Past Event

Artist Lecture and Demonstration
Course 21.M, “Music and Technology”
April 17, 2013 /12:00pm


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.

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. Trimpin’s computer-driven musical contraptions defy the constraints of traditional instruments.

More at the artist’s website: Trimpin.

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