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photos: Abby Banks
CORN SYNTH (kinetically operated randomness network — k.o.r.n.)
Eurorack Modular System that interprets physical input from two ears of corn cast in aluminum.
Robidoux, a Mills College alum, reflects the powerful echo and artistic legacy of Mills in their design of the corn synth, modeling it after the Buchla 158, the original synthesizer used at the San Francisco Tape Music Center at the late Mills College. The instrument was invented during Robidoux’s residency at ACRE in Wisconsin, where they cast two corn cob moldings in aluminum. Movement and touch determine the parameters of pitch, velocity, and duration. This makes for an accessible instrument, at once charming and absurd, but also a powerful synthesis of Robidoux’s practice creating space for unrestricted musical improvisation and their engagement with Pauline Oliveros’ AUMI (Adaptive Use Musical Instrument). — Cody Putman
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