Following the post last week about the Gamelatron, Masha left a comment referring me to the similar, if less harmonious, Automates Ki systems of Canadian composer Maxime De La Rochefoucauld who describes his constructions as “musical robots activated by inaudible frequencies”. He also says:
Ki is a japanese concept : roughly, it is the invisible vital energy that makes things move. I use this word as an allegory for the energy that animates my automatons. The listener and spectator only hears and sees the consequences of this vibration. In this context, my Automates Ki are “spokespersons” for the vibration instead of invented musical instruments, since to build them I use previously created instruments gathered from various countries.
For several years I have worked on a system of my own invention that animates the automatons, producing a music centered on percussion. The Systeme Ki™ transforms inaudible low-frequency modulations into an acoustic phenomenon.
The Automates Ki comprises a speaker joined to a musical instrument. A pliable firing pin is set on the speaker. The firing pin, when animated by the vibration of the speaker, hits the acoustic instruments (drums, cymbals, strings instruments) in an oscillating manner.