The Book of Knowledge of Impractical Musical Devices
The Book of Knowledge of Impractical Musical Devices is a project about building musical instruments that don’t work the way they should.
On the surface it’s a set of 3 new musical instruments (Volumes), each with an unusual, problematic, or, dare I say, impractical design. But the project as a whole is bigger than that – it’s fully open-source, both technically and conceptually. That means each volume is accompanied by an illustrated essay describing the reasoning behind the instrument, as well as a video, audio examples, images, and all of the code and technical information that you would need to make one yourself. It now also exists as a (currently sold out) physical book.
The three Volumes are:
Volume 1: A Day That Will Never Happen Again – A rhythm generator that uses recordings from a single day, and each day that you use it they will sound different.
Volume 2: Here You Are, You Are Here – A GPS-dependent synthesiser that sounds different depending on where you are.
Volume 3: Everything You Love Will One Day Be Taken From You – A listening device that slowly and permanently destroys a sound every time it plays back.
Please visit the project website to read the essays, watch videos, and learn more about the project as a whole.