Trimpin: The Sound of Invention

“(A) lifelike ride through Trimpin's wonderful Dr. Seuss world of sound sculptures.” Kyle Gann

Conventional music has always been associated with a formal array of instruments. The sounds fall into neat categories, the techniques of play proscribed and perfected. Trimpin, part madcap inventor, part eccentric composer, will have nothing to do with such restrictions. The Seattle-based artist has made it his bedeviled business to explode the bounds of instrumentation and, consequently, the sonorities applied. Peter Esmonde's lively Trimpin: The Sound of Invention takes us into this creative genius's workspace, itself a metaphor for the tangled and fanciful mind of the maker. Here, we see the unlimited ways in which Trimpin turns recycled, repurposed, and reinvented materials into elaborate sculptural assemblies, some strictly acoustic, some actuated by electronic enhancement. No noise, no thrum nor pop, is insufficient once orchestrated then issued by Trimpin's mischievous machines. Whether he's collaborating with the Kronos Quartet on a composition for toy instruments, or building a sixty-foot tangle of self-activated electric guitars, Trimpin's outrageous musical ventures are always more sound than they seem.

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