September 8, 2014

Scott F. Hall designed the core guitar technology used by the architecture and design firm MONAD Studio to create the single-stringed guitars he recently played at Florida International University’s Miami Beach Urban Studios.

The works are 3-D printed wall-mounted art as well as experimental instruments.

Hall explains the construction and his participation as the sound artist, The removable single-stringed guitars incorporated into ABYECTO each contain a central neck, string, and pickup structure. There are two optional necks, each operating in a different manner.”

Hall’s first unique instrument, which he invented, fabricated, and played in summer 2013, is a single-string electric baritone/bass guitar normally played in touchstyle. He calls it a “monobaribasitar,” and its minimal design and two-handed tapping technique allows articulation of notes at several times typical speed.

Though monophonic, fugue music flows rapidly from the instrument when played. In sum, a sonic illusion of complex polyphony occurs. The illusion can be described as an audible analog to “persistence of vision,” a visual characteristic of animation.

Hall’s second neck structure is called a “double-slide dyadichord”. Though single-stringed, each note he plays on the dyadichord produces two pitches sounding out together as a harmonious—or dissonant—chord. As an omnitonal cross between the old clavichord and more recent slide guitar, the dyadichord may be used to create sound ranging from twelve-tone music to microtonal experimentation to complete noise.

Chuck Abraham, Associate Director of the UCF School of Visual Arts and Design, notes, “Scott’s work in acoustic design combined with traditional fabrication techniques cross the disciplines of music and visual arts, creating a truly unique combination of sculpture and sound.”

During the opening reception on August 28, Hall played the instrument in two continuous solo sets of 17 minutes each. Afterwards, FIU Assistant Professor of Music Jacob Sudol and his graduate assistant attached piezo pickups to a related, larger wall hanging, sampled sounds, and played an impromptu composition. To close the event, all three instrumentalists worked together to create a spontaneous sound composition of about 15 minutes duration.