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date: 19 November 2019

Centriphonelocked

  • Hugh Davies

Extract

Family of motorised sound sculptures constructed by Max Eastley since 1972. Eastley has explored many variations of a system based on centrifugal force, in which a rotating beater strikes resonant materials. The early centriphones (1972–5) involve a small motor suspended in a frame, from which a steel rod hangs on the end of a nylon line; the rotation of the motor causes the rod to describe circular patterns on a square plate (originally aluminium, soon replaced by mild steel) suspended horizontally. Slight adjustments in the height of the beater above the plate (when at rest it is normally at an angle of about 65°) and in the speed of the motor produce substantial changes in the sound, from an almost continuous drone to a dancing percussive quality rich in higher overtones. Amplification is sometimes used, or cylindrical tube resonators are placed underneath the plate to reinforce individual overtones....

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