Shard-Speakers: An Inquiry into the History, Sonic Properties, and Musical Possibilities of Quartz Crystal Singing Bowls

Anastasia Clarke, and Anastasia Clarke

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

  • Year: 2023
  • Location: Mexico City, Mexico
  • Track: Papers
  • Pages: 457–462
  • Article Number: 63
  • PDF link

Abstract:

In this paper, the NIME “shard-speakers” is situated within the cultural context of the typical uses of crystal singing bowls, specifically acknowledging the origins of crystal bowls as re-purposed by-products of the silicon chip manufaturing process, and their subsequent adoption into the toolkits of New Age sound healing practitioners. Following this discussion is a first-person anecdotal account of the author/composer’s sonic explorations using crystal singing bowls in combination with the shards of broken bowls and custom electronics to create a body of recorded, acoustic, and electroacoustic musical works named Crushed Matrices #1-7. The last section of this paper explains how the extended musical techniques unearthed through the Crushed Matrices investigations informed the creation of the shard-speakers, and the electronically-generated musical content that was composed for them in the form of a sound artwork, Ode on Crushed Matrices. This recording was fed into the shard-speakers via tactile transducers on resonating bodies for the 2022 inaugural installation of the work, which at the time of writing is the only installation of the work to date. The paper’s conclusion addresses the relationship of this body of work to the NIME 2023 conference’s theme of “Frugal Music Innovation,” correlating or otherwise characterizing its relationship to several of the core competencies set forth by the Frugal Innovation Hub: adaptability, lightness of weight, mobile design, affordability, local material sourcing, and ruggedness.

Citation:

Anastasia Clarke, and Anastasia Clarke. 2023. Shard-Speakers: An Inquiry into the History, Sonic Properties, and Musical Possibilities of Quartz Crystal Singing Bowls. Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression. DOI:

BibTeX Entry:

  @article{nime2023_63,
 abstract = {In this paper, the NIME “shard-speakers” is situated within the cultural context of the typical uses of crystal singing bowls, specifically acknowledging the origins of crystal bowls as re-purposed by-products of the silicon chip manufaturing process, and their subsequent adoption into the toolkits of New Age sound healing practitioners. Following this discussion is a first-person anecdotal account of the author/composer’s sonic explorations using crystal singing bowls in combination with the shards of broken bowls and custom electronics to create a body of recorded, acoustic, and electroacoustic musical works named Crushed Matrices #1-7. The last section of this paper explains how the extended musical techniques unearthed through the Crushed Matrices investigations informed the creation of the shard-speakers, and the electronically-generated musical content that was composed for them in the form of a sound artwork, Ode on Crushed Matrices. This recording was fed into the shard-speakers via tactile transducers on resonating bodies for the 2022 inaugural installation of the work, which at the time of writing is the only installation of the work to date. The paper’s conclusion addresses the relationship of this body of work to the NIME 2023 conference’s theme of “Frugal Music Innovation,” correlating or otherwise characterizing its relationship to several of the core competencies set forth by the Frugal Innovation Hub: adaptability, lightness of weight, mobile design, affordability, local material sourcing, and ruggedness.},
 address = {Mexico City, Mexico},
 articleno = {63},
 author = {Anastasia Clarke and Anastasia Clarke},
 booktitle = {Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression},
 editor = {Miguel Ortiz and Adnan Marquez-Borbon},
 issn = {2220-4806},
 month = {May},
 numpages = {6},
 pages = {457--462},
 title = {Shard-Speakers: An Inquiry into the History, Sonic Properties, and Musical Possibilities of Quartz Crystal Singing Bowls},
 track = {Papers},
 url = {http://nime.org/proceedings/2023/nime2023_63.pdf},
 year = {2023}
}