Splint (the soul of wood)

steve roden
3" CD
edition: 1000
new plastic music

  1. corner. wood. fuzz
  2. the name of the thing itself
  3. a head of bees

from a series of three 3″ cds, each created using only the sound of a single modernist design object – a leg splint designed by charles and ray eames, a lamp designed by george nelson, and a metal chair designed by harry bertoia. i suppose the initial ideas came from “strumming” these things as i passed them in our apartment on a daily basis as well as the notion of wondering weather bertoia even played one of his chairs.

“every sound on this recording was generated by rubbing, bowing, plucking, and scratching a 1943 molded plywood leg splint designed by charles eames. some of the sounds were recorded directly to tape, others were manipulated and processed electronically. no other objects, instruments, or sound generators were used in the making of this recording. the eames splint has always been considered an icon of ingenuity and modern design. after appreciating it’s visual qualtities for a few months as it hung on our living room wall, i decided to take it down and try to explore it as an ‘instrument’. i used my hands, mallets, brushes, and a violin bow.”

  • reviews:
  • Announced as the first in a series of three, all using ‘modernist design
    object’ as a soundsource. In this case a ‘molded plywood leg splint’,
    designed by Charles Eames in 1943. I have no idea what to picture 
    this (o.k. I must be stupid, but I don’t get the drawing!). Steve Roden
    (for it is he), the man behind In Be Tween Noise, uses this thing to
    produce sound, either by rubbing, bowing, plucking etc. According to the
    info he provided ‘some of the sounds were manipulated and processed
    electronically’. In the first part, it seems this applies to all the
    sounds. I am reminded of Small Cruel Party’s sound processing techniques,
    in which the original sound gradually fades away into electronics. Except
    that Roden stays on the nice edge of sound processing. The high end tones
    on ‘A Head Of Bees’ come across like strings being bowed. Curious to hear
    the next sound design object being investigated.

    vital weekly 88

    frans de waard