Faravelli / Ratti

This is the first version of a live set in which Nicola Ratti and I have been working on recently. A few weeks ago, to avoid having to buy small engines, we started reclaiming them from discarded electronic equipment. Almost everything is operated by some kind of internal motor: old walkmans, electronic rear view mirrors, photo camera zooms, printers, video recording players, even the vibrate function on a mobile phone comes from a small engine just like cd players have mechanisms to spin the discs and to operate the laser.

Initially, the idea was to take out the motors and transform them into small percussion instruments through audio signals (the small engines work as speakers, even if they move on their axis instead of having a membrane). However, while we were disassembling the electronic equipment, we realised how interesting technological objects can be when viewed up close with their strange, complicated and sophisticated mechanisms and different shapes and materials, from plastic to aluminium. When the engines start, its as if these electro-mechanic organisms come alive once again, so we decided to play these tiny motors inside their shells and to make the most of the “material personality” of these objects as a purely acoustic sound source. For the Trifola Café gig we took a few things we found in my and in Nicola’s basement and we distributed them on a long table even though it might’ve looked like a dump! – Attila Faravelli


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  1. says: Gianmarco

    No software. As Attila Faravelli explained to me, they send sounds into the objects as if they were speakers, “one could even put a music track inside them from an ipod. The chain, for instance, is: ipod, audio amp (the one from the speakers), and the small engine. The speaker moves the membrane back and forth, the small engine moves on its axis. very easy:)”.

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