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Solar Sounders Workshop with Daniel Fishkin
August 12, 2021 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
In this workshop, we will build musical circuits with circuit boards, soldering irons, wires, solar panels, and wood.
A Solar Sounder is a synthesizer played by sunlight. It works opposite from just about every other circuit you might encounter. A Solar Sounder has no batteries, and no knobs; instead, its speaker output is governed by sunlight, powering an internal synthesizer that is designed to work with ever-fluctuating power source. These instruments live outdoors and their sound changes as the shadows of daylight creep along their solar panels.
By itself, a Solar Sounder by itself is a crude machine, but in a group, they come to life, twittering away merrily, their songs changing as the day passes. If one wants to change the sound—just pick it up and move it into or away from the sunlight, and see what happens. Unlike most electronic instruments, tethered to the power grid or wasting batteries, the solar sounder is self-contained. It makes music continuously and messily; sloughing sound like a cherry blossom tree sheds its petals. After we solder together, we then form a “solar band”, combining our circuits together to make a sunlit symphony.