Intimate Instruments Workshop

  • Intimate Instruments Workshop
  • participatory workshop w/ wood, metal, food coloring, beeswax, mineral oil
  • 2013-2016

The Linguaphone of Tremulous Communion is a musical instrument that cannot be heard by an audience. The Linguaphone is designed specifically for two players, who must face each other and bite down on the opposing ends to play. Vibrations transfer from the instrument through the teeth, using each player’s nasal cavities as a resonant chamber. The instrument’s tones are acutely (sometimes painfully) audible to players, but not bystanders.

Linguaphones are built and played by audience participants in a collaborative workshop-performance format, which serves as a vibrant exploration of relationships, cooperation, and community engagement, sparking new and existing social connections. Participants first work together to build and customize a Linguaphone, then perform together in a freeform public/private jam session.

During the Intimate Instruments Workshop hosted by Los Angeles’ Hammer Museum in April 2013, participants built their own Linguaphones of Tremulous Communion. Wooden and metal component parts, food-safe wood dyes and finishes, hand tools and instructions for building were provided to participants, who together built and played over 80 instruments.