Monday, November 17, 2008
Remember when I got my first Buddha Machine? Yeah. That was fun. Three years on and it still amazes me. If I curated a show of sound art I would just put one of these things in the middle of the room, turn it on, and walk away. There's an on/off/volume switch and a switch to move between one short sound loop and another (9 total). The object itself is as intimate as the small transistor radio I used to fall asleep to when I was a kid listening to WCFL through the night.
Kelefah Sennah said this in the Times back in 2005 . . .
". . . a modified version of a popular Chinese gadget that intones Buddhist prayers; this new model is a weird, mesmerizing, beautifully useless thing."
And now, Buddha Machine 2.0 has hit the shops. Like I said last time, you need one. There are 9 new loops. Still some straight-up gorgeous drones, but also some itchy surprises. Some plucked. Some struck. All of them create their own little repetitive world. However, there's a big twist with 2.0. Pitch bending. As the press release says, "It's like a whammy bar for your Buddha Machine." Heh-heh. I love the fact that there's no marker for the starting point so to get back to the original sound is almost impossible. You bought it, you break it. It frees the machine to be unique in everybody's hands. Unlimited.