A sound sculpture by world-renown artist Trimpin.

  1. Using found materials, or those he fabricates himself, Trimpin creates instruments designed to produce natural and/or acoustic sounds that modify or elaborate on those created by traditional instruments. His work includes musical segments rearranged into visible patterns that aid viewers in visualizing sound, and bridges the fields of performance, the visual arts, and music.

    Pictured: IF VI WAS IX.

    Photo courtesy of EMP staff.

  2. Pictured: IF VI WAS IX.

    Photo by EMP staff.

  3. Pictured: IF VI WAS IX.

    Photo by EMP staff.

  4. Pictured: IF VI WAS IX.

    Photo by EMP staff.


More than 500 musical instruments and 30 computers were used to create IF VI WAS IX. Created by Seattle-based sound sculptor, Trimpin, IF VI WAS IX is equipped with earphones that allow audiences to tune in to the various musical permutations performed.

Short stretches of music were played into a computer then organized by Trimpin into a continuous electronic composition, with notes assigned to specific instruments. Customized robotic guitars play one string at a time. Six guitars work together to create the sound of one chord—a mechanical metaphor for how musical styles and traditions continue to influence one another.