Since 1990 I’ve been building electroacoustic sound-sculptures: first the Mousetrap, and subsequently the Mini-Mouse, the Duplex Mausphon, the Midi-Mouse, the six Micro Mice (constructed for the Paul Dresher Ensemble), and the Mouseketier. These are lavishly described in an article published in New Music and Aesthetics in the 21st Century, volume 4, and also appears at the Canadian Electroacoustic Community’s eContact! 12.3: Progress Report: The State of the Art after Sixteen Years of Designing and Playing Electroacoustic Sound-Sculptures. Furthermore, a performance of the Mouseketier can be seen on the page Mouseketier Praxis.
The point of this page is to relate that, despite my reticence to build new sound-sculptures after the Mouseketier (as the focus came to be on learning to play that instrument rather than inventing new ones), I chose to make two new sound-sculptures (acoustic ones) in 2010. The occasion was an opportunity to introduce my daughter’s elementary school class to this creative arena. Two matching Kindermaus sound-sculptures were born, each one a kit (complete with all parts and necessary tools) to be assembled by the students and then played. (Their mousetraps are deactivated.)
Dedicated to children, the Kindermaus is a sensible outgrowth of this deliberately playful enterprise. In fact, children—who, in the face of new instruments, display none the psychological encumbrances of adults (e.g., they never protest that they “don’t know how to play that thing”)—are eager to play the sound-sculptures and often discover new ways of playing I never conceived.
Experimental | Why Experimental?