The Springboard is an experimental instrument I built in 1994 to explore the sonic potential of coil springs and other readily available materials. The inaudible vibrations of these materials are amplified by one very affordable piezo disc contact microphone. When played with cello bows and homemade friction mallets, I am able to produce extraordinary sounds that belie the humble origin of these materials.
This series of four videos on Gearwire explain and demonstrate the Springboard's construction and sounds. Made in 2006 for Gearwire by Gretchen Hasse, these videos also reside on my own YouTube channel:
Three articles I wrote about the Springboard are published in Leonardo Music Journal, Issue 17, eContact! 10.3, and eContact! 12.3. The Springboard is also mentioned in Nicolas Collins's wonderful book, Handmade Electronic Music: The Art of Hardware Hacking.
Sounds and music made with the Springboard can be heard on many record releases. My CD Rarebit was recorded with Steve Barsotti, who played an instruments (roto rod, spring frame) very similar to the mine. Many performances and studio compositions can be heard on my composer page. Newer performances and compositions are on my SoundCloud profile.
Skip to the next page for more images and text about the Springboard and experimental instruments. On this page you can find useful links to sources and materials for making contact microphones and inventing your own instruments. Photos of the Springboard may also be seen on my Facebook photo album.