sound art & craft



'neonoise' - an e-textile musical instrument (2016).
Five conductive pompoms attached to a circuit, make noise when they are touched.

neonoise is an interactive piece whereby the participants touch a pompom, and then each other, to connect and make sound. Using feedback as its primary sound source, the electronic instrument has been designed to encourage play, interaction and curiosity as a method of participatory and improvisatory performance.

The instrument is hand crafted and has a soft, e-textile (electronic textile) interface of conductive pompoms and plaits. Its circuitry is self-contained, battery powered and stitched within a neon pink knitted speaker.

This instrument is based on a study of the Dirty Electronics Bed of Nails. The conductive pompoms and plaits are connected to varying points on the instrument's op-amp circuit. By touching and interacting with the pompoms, the circuit is then hacked by the body to cause irregular resistance and connections, resulting in a palette of unpredictable noise and oscillation. Listen to a sample of neonoise.

neonoise was exhibited at the Lights of Soho, London (August 2016) and Always the Sun Festival, Guildford (September 2016). It has also been explored within workshops at the Yamaha Music School, Surrey (August 2016) and workshops at the Guildhall Arts Centre, Guildford (July 2016).

Exploring the instrument - bare feet and holding hands.
Lights of Soho, London. August 2016.

Hands-on play.
Lights of Soho, London. August 2016.

Surprising sounds.
Always The Sun Festival, Guildford. September 2016.

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© Sam Topley 2020