The tinsmith's (Buchla) easel

Sep 27, 2020, 06:27 PM

Malaysian tinsmith reimagined by Cities and Memory.

"This reimagined piece started out by mapping a drum pattern, against which samples and individual hits from the tinsmith's tools were placed alongside individual beats to give a skeleton rhythm - this drum track was then removed, leaving the tinsmith to generate the beats for the track with just a minor percussive accompaniment. 

"The bulk of the track is made up of five interlacing patterns from a Buchla Easel, the arpeggios of which represent the constant movement of the tinsmiths as they work - the different layers are to represent the interlacing of different type of percussive strike from the tinsmiths' tool overlapping.

"The overall effect is a both a tribute to the industry of the workers, but also a warning sign that traditional handicrafts such as this are under threat from automation as we move further into the 21st century."

Part of the Future Cities project - find out more at