SpringS in action

Repurposed reverb machine

Once word escaped to friends and family that Liminal Qualia uses found objects to produce noise-art, we were gifted with ideas and physical objects. From our succeeding team member and Moiré Pattern Projection Operator, Juan Garces, garage door springs were the far-most interesting.

Nathan had the crazy notion to build a spring reverb device that would act as an effect for “Chimes.” Through dry tests with piezo pickups, speaker wire, ¼” cable jacks, and alligator clips, he discovered the raw nature of the springs as a stand-alone instrument. It was decided by Robert and Nathan to rig both of them up in a frame; one at a static length, and the other with a foot pedal that could be pulled downward to stretch and un-stretch the sound.

Our working prototype, (pictured above) built within a wooden frame, executed our intentions and enabled us to put “Springs” into practice. Still a bit messy, not nearly big enough, and with some constructive/engineerial criticism from its primary experimenter, Matthew Glick… the father-son duo went back to the drawing board.

Envisioning the potential in “Springs”, they decided to move the structure to a metal framing system for added strength and unified aesthetics among all three instruments. The height was increased to nearly 7’ tall, and it became necessary to get real with the electrical/sound cable connections. Of course, this required some serious tools and mechanical strength: Circular saw/grinder for cutting metal, Cumalong for tensioning the springs, and a soldering kit to clean up and solidify our connections.

It had been about a year and a half from conceptualizing the garage door springs, to “Springs” being debuted at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Washington’s Crossing, NJ, as a qualified “instrument” in our artful endeavors to express and explore to the threshold of sensory perception. (pictured left below)

Liminal Qualia

something will happen

© 2020 Robert T. Whyte


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