Sine Guitar

This is inspired by Harry Partch’s 11-limit tonality diamond and his adapted guitars.  An acoustic guitar is Justly Tuned to certain ratios of a given frequency.  Sine waves, produced by software and sounded through a speaker mounted in the guitar, excite the strings.  It’s pretty hard to control pitch, but different timbers and resonances are heard depending on the series of sine tones chosen and the strings themselves.  There are no effects on these recordings- this is the natural sound of the instrument.  It reminds me a lot of the tanpura, the classical Indian string instrument that provides the drone and accompanies soloist instruments such as the sitar and sarod.  The tanpura is rarely an actual played instrument in modern Indian music anymore.  It is now usually an electronic box which provides the drone.  So in one case we have an acoustic instrument that has been subverted by an electronic synthesis, and in the other it is an electronic synthesis which excites an acoustic instrument.

These recordings were made at MassArt’s SIM studio in 2012.

There are two sine guitars in parallel.

Amber Vistein is the vocalist.