New Sounds: Music from Bar Codes, Bites, Vegetables and Bridges

by David Solomonoff

Electronicos Fantasticos! is a Japanese band that makes and plays instruments made from “various retired consumer electronics such as Electric Fan Harp, CRT-TV Drums, Air Conditioner Harp, etc.”

James Bruton demos his barcode scanner synthesizer – similar to some of the instruments Electronicos Fantasticos play – and shows how he designed and built it.


Creative technology studio playtronica has found a way of making music with pretty much anything including vegetables. Their electronic devices transform touch into midi notes making anything into a midi controller including one that turns the human body into a keyboard.

If watching that has spurred your appetite you might like a synth made with teeth: the VOC-25 vocal synthesizer is described as ‘a conceptual vocal synthesizer’. It’s based on the Axoloti Core circuit board and 25 sets of plastic teeth, each set representing a unique note on the keyboard.

… Leaving out the living from the musical equation, here’s New York City’s Verrazzano Bridge wailing on its own.

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