Selestium Modular isn’t quite like other modular makers – creator Adriana Knouf imagines an extraterrestrial dig on which this creation was unearthed. Add rubber bands and pluck away: the results are otherworldly.

There’s an entire research and imaginative speculative backstory, as selestium modular “is the modular synthesis production arm of the tranxxeno lab, the nomadic artistic research laboratory founded by the artist, writer, and xenologist Adriana Knoufselestium modular was started to investigate the sonic artifacts found in dig AG-105 and re-create them using contemporary techniques.”

There have been a few modules to explore, dreamt up by Adriana from her base in Bijlmer, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. And all xenoentities ready for a brain-bending trip into the wormhole should go check tranxxenolab.

QUIVERER (M5), though, is something special – “plucking the strings of the cluster.” It’s a combination between astronomy (that kind of cluster) and … you know, rubber bands and screws. The beauty of electronic music is, rubber bands and screws can sound entirely cosmic.

Check the demo:

It’s a beautifully constructed module, but also wide open to interpretation – there are just so many ways to play this, physically speaking, and so much to do in the real world, even before you dream up ways to process the sound and/or use it as an impulse. Use springs. Use strings. Try different materials on those screws (like a comb, or a fingernail).

  • Width: 12HP (60,6mm)
  • Depth: 25mm
  • Power:
    • +12V: 4mA
    • -12V: 4mA

There’s an input with an amplifier, plus the physical screws and setup itself, plus output knob. It’s one of those ideas that just keeps evolving, polymorph-style.

The circuit board says that it was based on the “Music Thing Modular’s Mikrophonie”, another module from around the same timestream. Luckily the building information for that module has also been found in a different dig, and we can see that the QUIVERER (M5) differs primarily in how much amplification is given to the exciting element.

The module – stocks are limited but if there’s interest via CDM, it may prod Adriana to make more of these, so feel free to leave some feedback!


selestium modular

Dutch Modular Fest folks are already way ahead of us and have seen this – apparently to good effect. But if you’re in the NL/going to Sonic Acts, don’t miss Dr. Knouf’s session which will cover xenokinetics and the Quiverer (M5):

PS, do go check out Adriana’s research work – including a talk for the legendary SETI Institute: