Manus Tremens

Manus Tremens (2019-2021)

Manus Tremens is a structured improvisation for accelerometer-controlled vibration motors, amplified toy harp, and live sound processing. “Manus Tremens” is Latin for “trembling hands,” referring to the tremolo articulation produced by the vibration motors on the strings, soundboard, and tuning pegs of a toy harp. The performer holds the leads of two vibrations motors, one in each hand, to actuate the harp. Accelerometers affixed to the performer’s wrists directly affect the vibration intensity of each motor, which enables nuanced dynamic control of the sounds being produced. The design of this system and the performance are inspired by the cimbalom, an Eastern European hammered dulcimer instrument.

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