Singing the Post-France Blues

Watching Tomoko Sauvage Performance/Installation @ Grimm Museum Berlin (photos by Laura Gianetti)

Miss Tomoko was a fabulous host during my last stay in Paris, especially when she indulged my obsession with second hand stores and flea markets. The TONEWHEELS gig at the Art Museum of Dijon went strange, basically I was asked to turn it down about 5 minutes into the set, when I was only a quarter of the way up! Seems the security guards were frightened I might “vibrate” the paintings in the museum (organizers, on the other hand, were cool and supportive). Talk/demo for the /dev/art series was a bit friendlier, with lots of questions and interest, and the final I-R-L gig was super, very good PA and responsive audience. Thanks to everyone who made it possible.

However, a funny thing happened on the way to the airport…

I almost forgot to mention that I missed my flight going to France! The long and the short of it is this: I hadn’t done the TONEWHEELS set since last spring, so I had forgotten how screwed up all my equipment was. I started checking it the day before my flight, and realized that I would have to remake everything…motor controllers, light-to-sound converters and all. Mostly because of stubbornness, I have to confess. I had tried to make a single unit of the whole thing before my USA tour and abandoned it the day before leaving.

This time I would not be defeated! I worked until the last possible minute, but to no avail. Then I called a taxi to the airport, which never showed up. I rebooked the flight (at my own expense!!!) for the next morning early, and spent the whole sleepless night (again…) building the SlenderTONEWHEELS box.

SlenderTONEWHEELS takes it’s name and super-70’s enclosure plus matching carry case from a Slendertone “fitness” machine, designed to stimulate your abdominal muscles with electrical pulses while you perform such rigorous labor as eating popcorn while watching Saturday Night Live. I found the device at a flea market in Helsinki last winter and had been dying to use it for something. So at the cost of a missed flight, I managed to put a 6 channel Arduino-based PWM motor controller and four light-to-sound-converters inside just in time to show off for the Frenchies.

Now that I’m home I can start preparing for the next two upcoming workshops at NK Project Berlin plus a Tuned City trip to Tallin, as well as thinking how to concentrate more on crafting unique sound boxes to sell rather than traveling so much for gigs and workshops. Not that I don’t like playing and teaching, it’s just that I start to feel so un-grounded these days. Maybe missing flights is a sign I need some rest…

Now Playing

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