Dutch designer Rob Hordijk inspired many instrument creators before his death last fall. Meng Qi is one of those moved by his work. He has just released an alternative firmware for his Wingie2 that allows it to behave like Hordijk’s beloved Blippoo Box.
Just listen to the beautiful sounds this produces, from cascading, delicate droplets and meditative patterns up to ringing distortion:
The Blippoo Box is one of those great benchmarks in designs embracing musical chaos. As Hordijk himself described it:
“In the hands of performing musicians, the Blippoo Box becomes an electronic music instrument that invites performers to improvise with the chaotic nature of the box. Despite this chaotic behavior, the produced sounds have particular characteristics that are roughly predictable and enable a performer to build a performance around a composed scheme.”
You can grab the new firmware, plus complete source code, on Meng Qi’s GitHub. (CN + EN)
There’s a clever control mapping, plus a Max for Live control app for use from the computer.
This is doubly relevant as the original hardware has become rare; this is a way to experience Hordijk’s compositional and instrumental ideas for a wider audience. Since the code is produced in FAUST (DSP language) and Arduino, it should also be a model for other platforms or jumping off on these ideas in other directions.
Here’s Dexba showing it off:
I just got a Wingie2 from Meng Qi and am working now on my own guide / seeing if I can play it differently than other folks. But as I’m doing that at my usual, uh “breakneck speed,” here’s a great video, also by Dexba, showing the default firmware functionality:
And the creator himself:
I really regret not putting together a proper tribute to Rob last year – one of those things – but Synthtopia did, among some others, and it’s well worth revisiting: