Like a fresh ingredient in food, sometimes all you need is a good idea. And whether your work is digital or analog, acoustic or mechanical, compositional or improvisational, sound artist and musician Ranjit Bhatnagar can provide ample inspiration. His best idea: forcing himself to come up with one musical idea a day for a month. Of course, having mad chops in instrumental invention doesn’t hurt.
Ranjit’s creations are remarkable partly in that people can pick them up and play them as instruments, as with the 8-bit violin – a pixelated concoction of the lasercutter – seen at top in action with real fiddlers at the Thingamajigs DIY Instruments Tailgate Party.
Other creations are best seen as sound design etudes, one-off timbral amuse-bouche, and all the more delightful for it. This year’s installments, gathered in the (shorter) month of February, included a number of imaginative daily, reflective productions. A rotating corn cob became a score. A speaker cable became impromptu MIDI output. A set of gears became a mechanical sequencer – the ratios producing different tones.
I’ve collected some of my favorites below, but of course the best way to inject some Ranjit-style aural inspiration into your day is to follow moonmilk.com. True, I’m more than a bit behind as these projects were developed in February. On the other hand, only now, fiddlers are picking up the fruits of those labors – and the change of season and coming of summer (or winter, southern hemisphere dwellers) means the timing couldn’t be better.
Now, some favorite videos – whether strictly “digital” or not being entirely immaterial: