ADACHI Tomomi      self-made instrument

Here is a collection of photos and videos of some of my self-made instruments.

This page includes many embeded Youtube videos, also some Quicktime video links.

last updated 2011-04-01


I began to build instruments by myself in 1994, it was the almost same period with starting my activity as an improviser. The reason I started to make my own instruments was very practical,  commercial electronic instruments were too heavy at that time and I didn't need conventional interface like a keyboard. I bought a soldering iron, study electronics and built some small instruments, which has original interfaces. To put circuits in Tupperware is a convenient way, it is easy to make holes and cheap and light, easy to carry. Soon, I decided to sell one of these instruments. Also it was an idea to sell a hardware as an artistic work, because sounds and interfaces are musical statements by themselves.

Now I sell my instruments (only Tomomin II) in very limited chances, seldom at my concert at Tokyo. Though you can ask me possibilities to get it, please don’t expect a positive reply, sorry. Also I can make special instruments for particular projects, it should have a collaborative process.

Some of my instruments, amplified object with piezo pick-ups.

Tomoring consists of springs, metal wires,

combs, etc.

Tomoring II (2008)

Electronic Instruments built in Tupperware

Tomoring I (2002)

This instrument (2005) was built of wooden branches and dried grasses which gleaned at a bank of Shimanto river (Kochi) for the special concert.

Vegetable Music

It is a long term project, not instruments, which is a performance to show the process of instrument making. It has 3 steps, 1_ to make a vegetable instrument with humming. 2_ to practice the vegetable instrument. 3_ to play something with the vegetable instrument. Different vegetable must be used for each performance.

Movie (low-quality QuickTime)

Vegetable Music

Other Instruments

Triangle Ouija (2011)

Transparent board with photo-cell driven 36 triangle wave oscillators. Used as Ouija board, to talk with spirits.

Tomomin (1994) is my first self-made instrument, is a simple monophonic oscillator which covers all hearable range by 1 knob operation. The name of the instrument refers to the historical electronic instruments "Theremin". I made and sold for many musicians, Mike Patton, Omoide-hatoba and some other musicians have used it. Now there is no availability. The sounds can be heard on CD “Sparkling materialism”.

Tomomin II (2004) is a pulse, noise and drone oriented small sound generator based on 3 square wave oscillators using an IC 40106. This is only instrument rarely available for selling. Price is 10,000 yen.

Tomomin Synthesizer I (1998) is an analogue synthesizer based on an old Texas Instrument IC which has VCO, VCF, LFO, noise generator, envelope generator. The sounds can be heard on CD “Sparkling materialism”.

Tomomin Synthesizer II (2006) is sound generator with 2 of C-MOS IC 40106. With external wires for touching, connecting external sensors.

TouchTomomin (2009)

This instrument (2010) consists of patchable 4 VCOs with AM/FM modulation and an external input.

This improvisation includes Tomomin (the first part,)

Tomomin Synthesizer, Theremin, Electronic Percussion, etc.

Conductive Piano (2007)

Piano experiment. Using piano strings as a part of analogue electronic circuits. Some metal objects (cymbal, guitar string, metal rod, etc.) are put on piano strings and connected with a self-made electronic sound generator (Tomomin Synthesizer II). Vibrations of strings work as rapid switch for electricity. Recorded in "Piano, Piano, Piano" on Jan. 15th 2007.

Wearable Electronic Music (2007)

Performance with self-made wearable electronic sound system includes sound generators, a speaker, an amplifier and a sampler with batteries. All sounds are triggered by many tilt sensors and two light sensors on performer's body, these sensors capture movements of performer. In addition, voice and a bicycle bell were used in the performance. Basic concepts are interaction between body and sound, and intervention between sound and environment. An excerpt from the public space performance tour titled "Art of Begegnung II" in Germany in July 2007.

Electronic Chopsticks (2006)

Performance with self-made electronic instrument. Metal chopsticks works as a resistance and a conductor, also tilt sensors were used.

Video Synthesizer (2004)

This is a video equipment not for sound but it bases on electric musical idea treating video signal as sound signal. It works with video cameras and video monitor / video feedback system. The synthesizer has high frequency filters, a signal mixer (not video mixer) and a color adjuster. All of following video images is made by this system.

Movie (low-quality QuickTime)

Excerpt from video piece “Gourd”

This video is an improvisational performance by the self-made video synthesizer. Sounds in the later part were generated by Tomomin Synthesizer II activated by 6 light sensors on a video monitor. Recorded at "Image Forum Festival" Park Tower Hall, Tokyo in 2009.

Amplified Objects