Creating an one string instrument was this week assignment for cooking with sound. Having not a lot of familiarity with material properties and sound, last class we were introduced to some of the physical aspects of sound – and materials. Having that in mind, I decided that I wanted to build a flexible instrument, in which with could adapt the tension and the length of the string with your movement.
At first I thought about using musical material such as a violin cord, but it had not the malleability I was looking for the material and some material that could reverb the sound. What worked for me in this case was trying different strings with different materials. I started with a rubber string, with gave me the flexibility that I wanted but was too weak and broke easily. I remembered that I had a silicone string with a good length to be moved and tensioned in different distances. It worked well and surprisingly, two open cylinder cardboard were kind of efficient as an amplifier (wondering if the silicone don’t actually work as oscillator and amplifier).
For me, experimenting different materials combinations was the best way to find out whether they would oscillate/resonate or if they didn’t do neither of those things. It was a nice exercise, can’t wait to see what will come next! And here’s a video that shows what kind of sound the instrument does, according to the movement/tension I did on the string: