Human powered electric instruments


[Noah] tipped us off to his work with Physically Engaged Electronic Instruments. He is building instruments, that while being electronic, require physical action to drive them. In the video after the break, you can see an example, in the form of a polka. The part that they’re holding (print head?) is attached to a generator which powers the instrument. The effect makes the instrument much more like a traditional stringed instrument that must be strummed. We can easily also imagine an interface similar to a concertina or accordion being functional. There are schematics available on his site in the research reports section, but you’ll have to dig through a pdf or two to find them. We would love to see a breakdown of the instruments and their components in a more accessible form.


  1. J says:

    It appears that man is spinning a leek.

  2. bancroft says:

    better spinning a leak than springing one

  3. Alex says:

    Well played.

  4. mic says:

    Musical veggies. Mmm leeks are good in soup. Interesting way to power an electric instrument.

  5. required says:
  6. jimslippper says:

    Awesome ! Reminded me of the cantina band from Starwars…

  7. Rick Autry says:

    There’s a big poke in the eye for all those post-apocalyptic stories where we all fall down and whine about all we have lost. I say bring on the bombs! Some of us will have grand new avenues of expression and We will be in demand far and wide. Kudos! (Oh you GOTTA know I’m kidding). Don’t You?

  8. Mike says:

    ‘Reminded me of the cantina band from Starwars…’

    Play that same song again!!!

  9. phyxr says:

    Thank you, a marvelously entertaining start to my day.

  10. Louis II says:

    At the time of posting, this is a genuine leekspin page:

  11. Genome says:

    What an alluring pose in the top pic…

    I would love to see a breakdown of her instruments and their components in a more accessible form.

  12. strider_mt2k says:

    The website tries for artsy, but ends up fartsy.


  13. mahoney says:

    she can physically engauge my organ.

  14. SOOPERGOOMAN187 says:

    The woman in the video looks like a friend of mine who is also into this.

  15. 36Chambers says:

    Ive always been sort of pro-post-apocalyptic times.

    In these times, the weak will perish, and the great will thrive..

  16. 7th_fret says:

    Sick. Sign me up for one of each.

  17. @36Chambers

    the unfortunate reality is that the physically superior and irrationally aggressive will thrive in the short run and dash the changes of the intellectually superior in the long run.

    The only way to truly survive would be both physically and mentally superior to most.

  18. @Louis II = major lulz

    Is that the guy from the human tetris vid going bum bum bum bah bum or w/e??

  19. Awesome. Two years ago, Noah was showing me a schematic for a pedal he’d been working on, and then added that what he was *really* excited about was this stuff. He mentioned the possibility of a harmonica that is breath-powered, but I’m guessing that turned out to not generate enough power…

  20. dildo baggins says:

    “He mentioned the possibility of a harmonica that is breath-powered”

    I think they already have those. They’re called “harmonicas”.

  21. David says:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 97,790 other followers