Sequenza 21

conlon

The Weekend in Ojai: Dawn Ascendent
by Galen H. Brown
June 13, 2006

My own favorite events of Saturday were two related to the Festival. We saw demonstration by Trimpin of his “Conloninpurple” instrument/installation. The instrument itself is something like a disassembled xylophone: 60 wooden blocks, sounded by a computer-activated striking mechanism, organized into ten groups of six vertical keys, surrounding the space in a room. To accentuate the sound, each block is beneath a resonator of an aluminum tube. Half of the resonators have extensions of trumpet-like bells and back-end closed resonating spaces to add overtones. The resonators are all in a magenta purple.The idea came to Trimpin from his visits with Nancarrow and the work Nancarrow was doing trying to construct a percussion instrument controllable through piano rolls. The most fun of the demonstration was that three young musicians composed works for Trimpin’s instrument… The most mind-boggling, however, was from a freshman who had been serving as Trimpin’s assistant in the installation. Albert Sackner Behar is a freshman in high school. All of 14, his first composition was performed when he was 9.