Self-Governing Self-Activating Monochords



Ebows evolved out of 7 self-activating monochords I built for Minaret. Ben Carpenter used the design to create his sound installation Tones, fabricating beautiful new monochords strung with thick piano strings.
In 2012, for Soundwave 5, I designed a reative control system for 3 Ebows, using a custom built electronic driver board to control voltages sent to each Ebow. The system reacts to a person's presence, choosing semi-randomly from a set of predefined sequences of activation. Simply put, the strings begin to vibrate when a person is sensed. As long as the person remains there, new sequences will be chosen and the sounds heard will subtly shift. In response to a person's presence, the ebows will perform, spontaneously generating new sequences of activation. Once a person leaves the ebows gradually settle into silent stasis.


Sound Samples


Ebows at SoundWave 5 - 2012


Ebow Prototyping