The Kaleidochord, the complete (although never finished?) version, played and filmed by myself at the exhibition in Lisburn, Northern Ireland '03.

KaleidochordToccata by tintinnebula
While you read about it and browse the pictures, why don't you listen to this beautiful recording of a visitor to the Gloucester exhibition, composer/improvisor Julia Price!
“A freely improvised piece for Kaleidochord [...] With obbligato accompaniment by the wheezing and clunking of the Octo-Organ [Simon Desorgher] and the shimmering of sheet metal from Tsjuji [Max Eastley]. Please forgive the distorted passages - got a bit carried away and wasn't watching the recording levels!!! Performer - julia cl price. Release date: Jul 23, 2010 ”

The Kaleidochord consists of a harpsichord keyboard of 61 keys and a vertical soundboard, on which each key triggers different sounds, some purely acoustic, others amplified with contact microphones, some perhaps more visual than timbral. It is meant to function as a playable exhibition object as well as a musical instrument, based on old ideas but with the Fylkingen exhibition Lydbilleder V (or Sound as Art as Sound) at Museet for Samtidskunst, Roskilde, denmark, the autumn of '99 as a point of departure. This is a photo at the installment of the danish exhibition, and 33 keys were activated then. For the following international sound and colour exhibition Rainbow Realm in the spring of '00 in the Liverpool Museum, 40 had became functional. For the exhibition Fabulous Sound Machines in York City Art Gallery (now York Art Gallery), '01, 49 were working. The same exhibition went on to Croydon Clocktower Gallery June-Sep '02. Then, 59 keys were functional. On the following exhibit in Island Arts Centre, Lisburn, northern ireland, July-Sep '03, it was complete with all 61. It has since been exhibited at the Sheffield Millennium Gallery May-Aug '04; Tulliehouse Museum and Art Gallery, Carlisle Jul-Sep '05; in Scarborough Art Gallery Jun-Sep '06; in Ferens Art Gallery in Kingston upon Hull Jul-Sep '07; in Gloucester City Museum & Art Gallery Jul-Sep '10, each time with slight repair, adjustment, and when necessary, alterations. See the development in time of the instrument below. The Kaleidochord was repaired, improved and developed for another exhibition at "Fabulous Sound Machines" in Old Market Gallery in Rotherham, Yorkshire June-Aug '12.
If you are interested in exhibiting this piece, look at the Kaleidochord section on my rider.
[The Kaleidochord]
The Kaleidochord at an early stage, before its first exhibition.
[The Kaleidochord, from the left]
The Kaleidochord, early version, from the left...
[The Kaleidochord, Closeup]
...middle section...
[The Kaleidochord, from the right]
... and from the right.
[The Kaleidochord, with children] [The Kaleidochord, with children]
The Kaleidochord, played by children at its Liverpool exhibition, and in its Croydon exhibit.

[The Kaleidochord, from the York exhibition (left)]
The Kaleidochord, from the York exhibition (left).
[The Kaleidochord, from the York exhibition]
The Kaleidochord, from the York exhibition.
[The Kaleidochord, from the Croydon exhibition]
The Kaleidochord, from the Croydon exhibition (with glass and with the table built especially for it by the exhibition team).
[The Kaleidochord, from the Croydon exhibition (left).]
The Kaleidochord, from the Croydon exhibition (without the glass).
[Left corner Croydon exhibition] [Right corner Croydon exhibition]
The Kaleidochord exhibited at "Fabulous Sound Machines" in Croydon Clocktower Gallery June-September '02, almost finished then.
[Left front Croydon exhibition] [Middle front Croydon exhibition] [Right front Croydon exhibition]
The Kaleidochord in Croydon: left, front and right side closeups.
[Aerial view Carlisle exhibition]
Arriving view of the Kaleidochord at "Fabulous Sound Machines" in Tulliehouse Museum and Art Gallery, Carlisle Jul-Sep '05, the finished version.
[Total front left view Carlisle exhibition]
Total front left view, Carlisle.
[Total front view Carlisle exhibition]
Total front view, Carlisle.
[Left corner Carlisle exhibition]
Left corner, Carlisle,
[Right corner Carlisle exhibition]
and right corner views.
[Left front Carlisle exhibition]
Left front view,
[Middle front Carlisle exhibition]
middle, and
[Right front Carlisle exhibition]
right front views.
[Aerial view Carlisle exhibition]
Aerial view, Carlisle.

A small blog about the last Kaleidochord update.

The Kaleidochord
Johannes Bergmark

Play one key at the time.
Play softly, play hard, they are all different!
Then try to combine them.
Play with a friend and see what you can do together!

Johannes is a musician and lives in Stockholm, sweden.

Instructions/info written for the Rotherham exhibition 2012.

Kaleidochord in the boxArriving to the Old Market Gallery in Rotherham, Yorkshire in June 2012, it was a sweet sight to see the specially constructed, battered box containing the instrument waiting for me to treat it with some TLC for its new exhibition.

Kaleidochord in the boxThe warning sign intact. (The box is perhaps too fragile for its purpose and it's very narrow inside.)

Kaleidochord, backThe back with a couple of contact mikes and protecting tape for some protruding sharp piano strings.

Kaleidochord, frontThe front with the cables ready to be plugged into the mixer.

Kaleidochord glass, boxThe protective glass removed, the transportation box behind, and to the right one of the walls to protect the back side.

Kaleidochord nakedThe Kaleidochord naked, ready for action.

Kaleidochord mountedMounted on its specially made plinth.

Kaleidochord adjustmentThis metal percussion piece was repaired and improved.

Kaleidochord bell improvedThis bell mechanism was improved which has always been a difficult problem. Now it's better than ever. It's only a quite slack fishing line which gets even more slack and it needs a good impulse for the weight to fall down from a proper height. Tricky ...

Kaleidochord ice strainerThe ice strainer noise was a bit too unstable. I replaced the beater with bottle caps and made the mechanism more rigid.

Kaleidochord toy hammerThis toy hammer makes a silly noise when it's turned around. The former mechanism did that, but was too ineffective and the resulting sound was very faint. Now, it also makes a noise when you shake it up and down, and when I changed it in order to do that, it became much more effective.

Kaleidochord onion holderThe unidentified metal tool that plays the onion holder was playing it on the outside but often got stuck and twisted. I changed it to play it from the inside, which seemed to do the trick very well.

Kaleidochord egg slicerThe egg slicer is beaten by the little green ball on a string, but it was bouncing around without much control. The cake shaper that used to make noise inside the ice strainer I moved here because it seemed to have the right form to keep the ball in control.

Kaleidochord clapperThe plastic clapper used to make some noise by adjacent keys hitting it. I lifted it up with a screw in the middle of the key as well as on the side which fixed that problem.

Kaleidochord sandpaper and forkThe sandpaper scraping on the plastic fork was worn so I replaced it with new and more coarse sandpaper.

Kaleidochord paper dragonThe paper dragon had been nocked away and is now ready to dance again.

Kaleidochord straw leverThe new straw lever that made the fishing line move much more vividly for the bell beater to fall down quicker.

Kaleidochord slate scraperThe strange scraper tool was scraping the sound board which wasn't making much noise. I put this slate that I brought in front of it instead, which was stronger and made a more interesting sound as well as sight.

Kaleidochord pig, cymbals and match boxThree things in this picture that were regulated: a) The pig cake form with the flattened bottle cap inside it was bouncing around a bit too much and was a bit too random to hit. I put another screw on the key to increase the chances and also put some safety pins around the rope to keep it a bit more in place. b) The small cymbals were improved by being put on a spring. Looks more fun, too. c) The match box has been shaking a lot of things in it, including matches and cocktail pins. They have all flewn away all over the place. This time the theme is safety pins!

Kaleidochord pig, cymbals, match box and stoneThe pig, cymbals, match box, big metal ring (working like a crotale bell, it had also been knocked out and needed to be put in place in a more secure way) and stone seen from the front. (I also regulated the plectron on the jew's harp a bit.)

Kaleidochord pig, cymbals and match boxAnd as seen from the right with a nice view of the other constructions behind them. Here you also see the piano tuning pin that beats the stone, I regulated it a bit as well.

Kaleidochord back scraper and gas stationThe big back scraper was scraping the sound board but did little more than just shake the whole construction without making much noise. I brought small bits and pieces of materials, toys and objects, many of which I usually use when I play the Platforms construction, as much as I could fit into my hand luggage on fucking Ryanair, the World’s most hated airline. One of my favorites was the toy gas station. It seemed to be the right idea for the back scraper, and after much trial and error, it seemed to work well.

Kaleidochord back scraper and gas stationSeen from the front, the scraper became a lever in the form of a long arm.

Kaleidochord pattern copy toolI also regulated this thing, that I believe to be a copying tool for sewing patterns onto the cloth to be cut. Here it's trying to cut itself through the sound board and making noise while it does.

Kaleidochord backFrom the inside of the protection cupboard on top of the plinth, to the back of the Kaleidochord. I put some extra tape on the contact microphone (and bicycle light generator) chords.

Kaleidochord front with glassKaleidochord from the front with newly polished glass.

Kaleidochord front with glassReady to play!

Remaining toys and materialsWhat remained from the toys and materials that I brought. Most of them go back to the Platforms suitcase to be played again.


The Gallery
Updated the 31st of July, 2013.