Rod Organs 1 and 2
1997 and 2005
12 feet x 20 feet x 20 feet as installed at phaeno.

The Rod Organs are musical instruments/artworks created by Norman Tuck. In these pieces an organ keyboard controls special (stepper) motors which vibrate metal rods mounted on acoustical chambers to produce musical sounds.

The keyboards are free-standing consuls. In Rod Organ 2 a set of 54 touch sensitive keys (pieces of brass or aluminum) are arranged like piano keys. The 27 keys on the right control the motor mounted on the galvanized metal sound chamber, and the 27 keys on the left control the motor mounted on the wooden sound chamber. Each key is tuned to the resonant frequency of one or more of the music wire rods, so that the resulting sounds are as intense as possible.

This piano key arrangement is completely arbitrary since the sound triggered by each key is not a pure note, and the sounds certainly do not relate in any way to the corresponding sounds of an actual piano.

It is intended that someone without any musical training will enjoy playing the Rod Organs without feelings of musical “inadequacy”.

Rod Organ 2 (2005) is in the permanent collection of the phaeno Museum,  Wolfsburg,Germany.

Rod Organ Slideshow

Rod Organ 2 installed at phaeno.