Lucky Frame

One Pig Live, with Matthew Herbert

Category : One Pig, Projects ยท by November 10, 2011

I’d like to take this moment of calm, before we announce our Big Exciting Release, to talk about another project that we’ve been working on here at Lucky Frame over the past few months: One Pig Live.

I was lucky enough to meet musician and producer extraordinaire Matthew Herbert a few months ago, and we got to talking about his One Pig album, which was released worldwide a few weeks ago. In a nutshell, the album was created entirely using recordings from a single pig, which Matthew followed “from birth to plate”. The album is divided into months, representing those periods in the pig’s life (and afterlife). The result is brutal, touching, gorgeous, and unsettling all at once.

He mentioned that he was looking for an electronic music interface for live performance which really reflected the themes inherent in the album. Sounds like a Lucky Frame project, doesn’t it?

So after some back and forth with Matthew, we decided to build an instrument modeled off a pig sty, which could be played by pulling, twisting, and plucking the wires.

To read a full description of how we built the instrument, soon dubbed the Sty Harp, you can head over to my Amazing Rolo blog. I basically ended up hacking a bunch of Gametrak controllers to use their wonderful innards, which are basically comprised of three potentiometers – two as an X-Y joystick and a third attached to a gear which lets you measure distance.

Jon then coded a nifty system which allowed us to run 12 of these controllers, or 36 streams of analog data, into a computer via USB through an Arduino.

The result is the Sty Harp! Here’s a terrible video of me playing it in a rehearsal. Hopefully I’ll get access to some better video at some point soon.

In addition to building this for Matthew, I am currently touring with the band and performing the Sty Harp. We have already played at the Royal Opera House London, in Bolzano Italy, and at the Liquid Room Tokyo. More gigs are coming up, confirmed so far are:

November 17th, Berghain, Berlin info in English, German
November 18th, STRP Festival, Eindhoven info in English, Dutch
November 25th, Ancienne Belgique, Brussels info in Flemish, French, English
December 2nd, Club Silencio, Paris the internet is curiously devoid of information on this one
December 3rd, Gaswerk, Zurich

It’s a very exciting project for us, and hopefully there will be loads more shows in the future!

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