sound art & craft


crap pompoms

Performing 'piece for three crap pompoms'.
Performers (L to R): Sam Topley, Jim Frize, Ben Allan
De Montfort University, Leicester. March 2015. (Photo: Kat Pattison)

The crap pompoms project explored the process of crafting electroacoustic instruments using found materials. Materials, such as discarded plastic, paper and wire sheath, were investigated for their acoustic and timbral qualities, then made into pompoms using the traditional cardboard ring method. A series of DIY condenser microphones were embedded within the pompoms, to capture and amplify the delicate sounds.

Left: Big crap pompom (40cm diameter) and DIY cardboard box amplifier.
Right: Two circuits; 4 + 2 electret microphones and DIY mixers.

Crap pompoms of varying sizes were made. Three larger crap pompoms were crafted for a performance at De Montfort University in 2015 (see top picture). The three performers walked on stage, scrunched the pompoms and held their position, then released to allow the pompoms to unfold and crackle, inspired by Takehisa Kosugi's 'Micro 1'.

Crap pompoms were explored at the Dirty Electronics Ugly Weekender, held at Primary, Nottingham 2015. 24 hours of pompom making with found material resulted in an experimental and participatory performance with a big crap pompom. Listen to the performance here. A capacitive sensing rag pompom was also crafted, made throughout the night. Read the blog for this event here.

Capacitive sensing rag pompom, made with old rags and wire. 30cm diameter.
Dirty Electronics Ugly Weekender. Primary, Nottingham. February 2015.

Baby crap pompoms were made during a research residency at the Royal College of Music, Stockholm, Sweden, to create delicate rustling sounds for a realisation of Christine Ödlund's Stress Call of the Stinging Nettle, performed at the KTH Dome of Visions in February 2016. Hear a demonstration of the object below, and read more about the event here.

Baby crap pompom.
Royal College of Music, Stockholm, Sweden. February 2016.

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