Books, records, plant pots and even shoes can be turned into musical instruments thanks to British designer Nick Brennan’s Sound Pegs device (+ slideshow).
When the pegs are attached to any object, sensors inside the jaws can detect when the object is struck. The vibrations are then then passed to the converter, which feeds the signal to a laptop running Apple’s Garageband music software. The software triggers a sound, which is transmitted through the accompanying wood speakers.
"I work a lot with electronics and also natural materials," explained Brennan. “I like to provide tactile experiences through my work.”
Objects can be used to create drums, pianos, guitars or any instrument stored in the software.
In a video demonstration, Brennan’s Sound Pegs are connected to shoes, books and old vinyl records that when struck sound like high hats, snares and kick drums.
"I use Garageband, but it can be used with any music generation software," he said.
Brennan admits that some experimentation is required to discover which objects can provide the best platforms for sound: "Flat objects work better, as they're easier for the pegs to grab onto."
Brennan’s work follows in the footsteps of other designers who have used unexpected objects to generate sound: last year, London artist Di Mainstone developed an electronic instrument that enables performers to make music from the subtle vibrations of suspension bridge cables, and researchers in Canada designed a family of prosthetic musical instruments that create music in response to body gestures.