the Banshee: custom analog electronic instrument (2009)


The Banshee is an analog electronic instrument I designed with the goal of creating an expressive instrument that does not require a computer or software. Modeled after a wind instrument, the design uses six finger pads that control the pitch of a complex array of interrelated oscillators, and a mouth sensor that allows the performer to control volume.

The Banshee also features a tilt-sensor that allows motion to change the voicing circuitry and resulting timbre. Battery powered, the instrument can plug into any amplifier or mixing console, much like an electric guitar.

Here, I was interested in the gestures associated with playing the clarinet, although the Banshee requires no breath. I was also interested in creating an electronic instrument whose sound had a more direct relationship to the performer's body. The sound is thus created by analog circuitry, and requires no intervening computer.


Building the Banshee in the STEIM studios, Amsterdam.










Click image to see a video of the Banshee in action.

Click here to see the same video on a Kurdish youtube-like site