Tratti’s story

0martinpucilj.jpgMartin Pichlmair‘s presentation of TRATTI – A Noise Maker for Children at the Mobile Music Workshop. I blogged about that piece a while ago but it was great to listen to the “behind the scene” stories.

One of Laura Beloff, Erich Berger and Martin Pichlmair’s previous work was the inspiration: the Seven Mile Boots, a pair of interactive shoes with audio allowing their wearer to wander through virtual space.

Tratti would have been something similar but in a more musical way. However, they decided that the project would involve too much (fragile) technology for kids’ boots.

They opted instead for an amplifier of noise made by children. New feature: according to the colour in front of which the child is, the noise modification will be different. In front of something red, they can record noise; blue plays samples slower, yellow plays them faster, green is for reverse, and something black will silence the Tratti.


Another source of inspiration was Toshio Iwai‘s sound lens, a portable device that turns light into sound.
At some point they realized that the piece looked too much like a design or commercial product which wasn’t good as the grant they had received was a media art one. Unlike Japan which has no fear of producing works that mixes both fine art and product qualities, Occident doesn’t have any device art culture.

0intonerssss.jpgPichlmair then had a look at the use of megaphone and hornspeaker in art. Because of all its political implications, the megaphone is often used more as a statement than as an amplification device. Some of the works he mentioned:

Futurist’s “noise-machines” or “intoners” (intonarumori), for use in avant-garde musical compositions that were aimed at working against the musical heritage. Each made a preset “roaring, bubbling or bursting” noise when its handle was operated.

Benoît Maubrey‘s Audio Jacket and Audio Peacock.

Mark Bain‘s Acoustic Sound Gun which amplifies what it ears in just one direction.


Other pieces: Troika‘s Exploded Monologues and Tool for Armchair Activists, Fur‘s Earworm Assault Devices.

Frauke’s notes on Martin’s talk.