Artists scientists

The Sound of Invention

It’s an amusing exploration of the sonic world of an eccentric creative genius. Artist/inventor/engineer/composer Trimpin shuns the hype and hyperbole of the commercial art world – yet his freewheeling sculptures and outrageous musical experiments are cherished by museums all over the planet. Filmed over two years, this documentary feature follows the artist/inventor as he designs a 60-foot tower of more than 500 automatic electric guitars; builds an ensemble of huge marimbas that converts real-time earthquake data into music; and collaborates with the Kronos Quartet on an outrageous world premiere featuring toy instruments. Trimpin: The Sound Of Invention will delight anyone interested in the mysteries, pitfalls, and sheer joy of creative experiment.

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Trimpin is a sound sculptor, composer, engineer, and inventor. A specialist in interfacing computers with traditional instruments, he has developed ways of playing instruments ranging from giant marimbas to stacks of electric guitars via computer. His work integrates sculpture sound, and live performance. Born in Germany, Trimpin spent several years living and studying in Berlin. His work has been performed and exhibited at shows, performances, new music festivals, museums, and galleries around the world including Seattle Art Museum, International Jazz Festival in Vancouver, Missoula Museum of Art in Montana, Tacoma Art Museum, Washington State University Museum of Art, Ojai Music Festival, and Other Minds Festival.

From 2005 through 2007, museums and galleries throughout the Pacific Northwest mounted an extensive retrospective of Trimpin’s work. His sound sculptures, installations, and set designs have been developed in collaboration with artists such as Merce Cunningham, Samuel Beckett, Conlon Nancarrow, and the Kronos Quartet. Subsequent to receiving his 1994 Grants to Artists award, Trimpin received a MacArthur “Genius” Award and a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship for his investigations of acoustic music in spatial relationship, both in 1997. He holds an Honorary Doctorate in Musical Arts from California Institute of the Arts, which he was awarded in 2010.

Some of the reviews of the film

“terrific… a must-see for anyone who loves music and culture” – Anne Thompson, IndieWIRE
“an excellent film… a testament to the endless possibilities afforded by a free imagination.” – Austin Chronicle
“Like the treasured Rivers and Tides… this lovely documentary manages to capture the intoxicating excitement and originality of an artist…” – Variety
“In 1956 Francois Truffaut wrote how “the film of tomorrow will be more personal than a novel and autobiographical like a confession or a secret diary (…). The cinema of the future will be an act of love”. Trimpin: The Sound of Invention is exactly this: a pure act of love.