From Junk to Joy - 'Trimpin

The Sound of Invention'

by Michael Barrett

19 August 2011

 
cover art

Trimpin: The Sound of Invention

Director: Peter Esmonde
Cast: Trimpin

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The single-named Trimpin is a German-born, Seattle-based artist-composer-inventor who tinkers with “junk” and puts together unique electronic-acoustic instruments. The resulting installations, seen in various museums, are beautiful, whimsical, oppressive and strange. In this documentary full of weird and delightful contraptions and sounds, we see him collaborate on an improvised concert with Kronos Quartet using toys guitars and a jacket that translates the body’s movements to sound. Like a less intense Werner Herzog, he says he decided as a child that he was never going to work but would do this instead; we also visit his sister, his father, and his lab elves. If he has a “private life,” we have no idea. In a bonus, he visits a museum with the equally bizarre instruments of musical pioneer Harry Partch.

Trimpin: The Sound of Invention

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