Mat Janson Blanchet's academic works

Independent study accepted!

Posted on September 5, 2017

Independent Study

After a few iterations, and comments from Bill Vorn, director of Concordia’s Intermedia program, the proposal for my independent study has been accepted!

Below is the description of what I will be researching and building in the following two semesters:

Borrowing from the world of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression (, I would like to create a sculpture that is not a conventional instrument, yet is musically functional.

Guitar strings, magnetic and piezoelectric pickups, and the EBow ( will be the main electronic parts onto which the project will be built. Strings instruments have been plucked, hammered, and bowed, and I wish to explore an instrument that can produce sound without any of those actions. Electronics reproducing the EBow’s electromagnets would move above the strings to vibrate the strings and generate sound. Electric guitar pickups would amplify string vibrations to loudspeakers placed in the room.

The piece is meant to be presented in a gallery room where it would sit and fill the room with sound/music. At this time, the behavior of the piece is not determined. It would be interesting if there was a way that I could perform with the piece, either by playing it somehow, or by playing guitar with it, thus performing a duet with a sculpture.

As for the esthetic of the sculpture, I would like to stay away from the electronics and wires that are often displayed in interactive artworks. The final shape of the sculpture is not currently known at this time, but it will likely be a geometrical shape (pyramid, dodecahedron, etc.) that can stand on its own. I would like to make the artwork look like a real instrument, even though it would look preposterous or improbable.

I did a few sketches to spitball some ideas, but I know the end result may be totally different.

Sketch 1

Sketch 2

Sketch 3

Sketch 4

I will be posting more about this project as it progresses.

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