The Servo Sequencer with its hypnotic-looking optical disc. Photo courtesy Gijs Gieskes.

Artists Gijs Gieskes’ sequencers are almost like physical, mechanical software, an expression of musical structure in object form. As such, even as they make strange sounds, they become musical sculpture. His latest Servo Sequencer combines optical and mechanical process, as frequency circles spin on a turntable and tone arms float above them.

The Servo Sequencer is built for exhibition use – meaning, yes, he’s brave enough to let you play with this contraption. Sequence the arms using buttons, then adjust the volume mix and placement of each arm using the joystick.

Serv Seq from Gijs on Vimeo.

This project is unusually well-documented. Gijs provides complete specs, the script that controls the arms, and even a little web app that generates those lovely patterns.

But for those of you near the Netherlands, you should go check this out in person. Updated: The piece will be part of an exhibition in Breda through August 23, with multiple opening events featuring local artists from Eindhoven and Breda, plus live performances and concerts including Gijs and his talented brethren and neighbors.

Here & There Exhibition, [Info in English]

The events:
Opening Part 1:
KOP, Breda
Thursday 25/06 08.00 pm

MU, Eindhoven
Friday 26/06 08.00 pm

(It’s a bit confusing as the events swap between Breda and Eindhoven — there’s a second opening Saturday July 25. Gijs explains “the first [opening] is in breda (thursday), then a day later (friday) in eindhoven, where my machine will be. and then a month later its the other way around.”)

You know, Breda. Like, right … here. We’ve got a number of readers in the area (whom I suspect know more or less exactly where this is); let us know if you make it!

  • Intensivetime

    Yes yes, I know exactly where Breda is, and I will be attending. 🙂

  • Mark

    I think is name is Gijs, so the genitive should be Gijs'.

  • Sorry, typo in the headline.

  • Eric

    Too bad I can't make it to the opening. Have my own opening to attend. But I'm sure going to try to get to Breda to see some of this stuff later on.

  • Damon

    I sure hope he can expand upon that premise. The basic disk and 3 arms orientation appear the beggining of so many other possibilities, especially in the relationships between what is on the end of the arms and what may be expressed from the disk. Combine that with modulating the speed of the disk, and sky's the limit.

  • So just to be clear, Gijs' Serv Seq will NOT be at the Breda KOP exhibition on the 25th of June, but at the MU part in Eindhoven on the 26th (where it will be until the 19th of July).

    The KOP and MU groups switch and from the 25th of July Serv Seq will be in Breda.

  • Pingback: the music of sound » Attack of the Solenoids!()

  • Yep, that's right. It's totally confusing, because they're shuffling everything around!

  • Pingback: Spinning sounds with the Servo Seq | SquareCows()

  • Pingback: optical sequencer « Hikikomorianimals()

  • Pingback: optical sequencer « research()