We live in an age of disposable electronics. iPod battery wears out or new prettier iPod arrives, and old iPod gets tossed. Or, if you’re Norwegian sound artist and musician Espen Sommer Eide, your iPod could live a second life far more interesting than its first.

The Slåttberg is a custom musical instrument fashioned from an iPod running Linux, pdPod, the iPod-ready version of open-source multimedia patching software Pure Data, a 60s-era loudspeaker cabinet, an internal amp, and, most importantly, a big crank. Plugged into a Moogerfooger FreqBox, the resulting instrument feels like a reimagined analog Hurdy-Gurdy. Espen says he was inspired by deconstructing Norwegian fiddle music, and it comes out in the instrument not only in the sound but in the sense this creation is something Norwegian ethnomusicologists might collect, alongside ancient Scandinavian flutes.

Those of you in Norway, let us know how the premiere goes, and what else happens at the festival — sounds terrific. Espen writes:

Hi being a regular reader of your site, and since your article about the pdpod a while back inspired me to use my old ipod for this project РI thought you might be interested to check it out. A preview video of a custom built musical instrument by Espen Sommer Eide, artist and member of Alog and Phonophani. The Sl̴ttberg will premiere at the Borealis Festival for contemporary music Bergen, Norway late february 2008.


Alog, by the way, is the acclaimed duo of which Espen is one half. And anyone who makes use of Duck-Rabbits (the “famous gestalt psychological figure representing both a duck and a rabbit depending upon the point of view”) wins still more bonus points.

  • mex

    You call that sh*t music? If this is the future of music and what people enjoy I'm glad I won't live forever.

  • The music was amazing. What is it with Scandihoovians and wood? They just won't let go. Fetishism on a national level.

    I really think these guys are onto something. If that piece was performed at a Folk Festival, the audience would be howling for more. The faux hurdy gurdy thing is a stroke of brilliance. These guys know there audience and are creating the theatre to make it work.

    The techy guy sure looks like one of the male singers from Abba. Other than that I thought there effort was first rate.

  • there = their

  • If we knew what the future of music was going to be, I wouldn't want to live forever, either. 😉

  • webbmusic

    That thing is incredible.

    F'd up lullaby music for the criminally sane.

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  • 7oi

    Well, mine's better. I made it last spring and it's usb connected. I posted a picture here: http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog… and i must say, the music that came from mine sounded better. Check out the third part of my airwaves set (on myspace.com/7oi).


  • david jary

    Lets face it.. we dont need more of anything these days ..we have it all in abundance..but what we all crave and search for is fascination and interesting 'things' that capture our attention away from ourselves and for a brief moment this forfills that need. Well done

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