| In the beginning, I wanted to make an instrument that would be very natural and tactile to play. To find some direction, I read the book "Biomimicry," by Jane Beyrus, which I assumed was about using naturally-occurring technology in high-tech applications. Instead, it delved pretty deeply into organic chemistry. The term "Biomimicry" describes a new kind of science based on copying natural, biological processes (like photosynthesis) instead of using toxic, wasteful methods (like coal-burning and nuclear power).
As an example, the book talks about sea creatures, like the abalone, who create their protective shells out of the seawater iself. They secrete strands of proteins that attract very specific minerals floating around them, which build up their shells crystal by crystal, layer by layer over time. Their shells are natural wonders, incredibly hard and yet not brittle like ceramics and composite materials.
Something clicked. I was experimenting with sound sampling, echos, and room tones, and here is this little animal that takes the ambience of its environment and actually creates something physical out of it. Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, I decided to copy the abalone. What if the abalone lived in an ocean of sound?