Sound Sculptor Trimpin Discusses Life and Work at CalArts Lecture


Trimpin receives an honorary degree from CalArts in 2010. | Image: Scott Groller

The Music Technology program in The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts’ welcomes sound sculptor, inventor and composer Trimpin to its Visiting Artist Guest Lecture Series tonight from 6:30-8 pm.

The German-born, Seattle-based artist, who received an honorary degree from CalArts in 2010, is known as trailblazer in music technology for interfacing computers with traditional instruments.

In 1997, Trimpin was awarded both a MacArthur “Genius” Grant and a Guggenheim Fellowship, yet the artist is noted for shunning both the spotlight and commercial enterprises. He’s never been represented by a gallery or dealer, and recordings of his work have never been released commercially.

He was the subject of Peter Esmonde’s 2009 film Trimpin: The Sound of Invention, which was just released on DVD. (Watch trailer below.) Filmed during a two-year period, the documentary follows the artist/inventor as he develops a perpetual motion machine, builds a 20-meter tower of automatic electric guitars, and collaborates with the Kronos Quartet.

From the director’s statement:

More than anything else, this is a film about creativity and creative processes. We deliberately set out to document an accomplished artist working closely with a variety of media and materials; collaborating with people from many disciplines; and creating work that could not be evaluated by any single set of esthetic criteria. Following Trimpin around for almost two years, we captured more than we’d hoped.

Visiting Artist: Trimpin
CalArts’ Machine Lab, B214a
Tonight (Oct. 27)
6:30-8 pm

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