Story posted October 11, 2012
Trimpin, Klompen, 1987, wood, metal, electronics
Story posted April 10, 2008
Trimpin, Bowdoin's spring 2008 Coastal Studies Center artist in residence, will give an artist's lecture at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 14, 2008, in Sills Hall, Smith Auditorium.
Trimpin's talk, titled "Sound Sculpture: A Retrospective of My Work," is open to the public and admission is free.
A sound sculptor, composer, and inventor, Trimpin is a specialist in interfacing computers with traditional acoustic instruments. He has developed myriad methods for playing trombones, cymbals, pianos, and other instruments with Macintosh computers.
In describing his work, Trimpin sums it up as "extending the traditional boundaries of instruments and the sounds they're capable of producing by mechanically operating them. Although they're computer-driven, they're still real instruments making real sounds, but with another dimension added, that of spatial distribution. What I'm trying to do is go beyond human physical limitations to play instruments in such a way that no matter how complex the composition of the timing, it can be pushed over the limits."
Trimpin was born in southwestern Germany, near the Black Forest. His early musical training began at the age of eight, learning woodwinds and brass instruments. In later years he developed an allergic reaction to metal which prevented him from pursuing a career in music, so he turned to electro-mechanical engineering. Afterwards, he spent several years living and studying in Berlin where he earned his master's degree at the University of Berlin.
Eventually he became interested in acoustical sets while working in theater productions with Samuel Beckett and Rick Cluchey, director of the San Quentin Drama Workshop. From 1985 to 1987 he co-chaired the Department of Electronic Music of the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam.
"What I'm trying to do is go beyond human physical limitations to play instruments in such a way that no matter how complex the composition of the timing, it can be pushed over the limits."