BLIPPOO BOX: TURBULENT FLOW



“Turbulent flow, long considered a form of chaos, is now know to possess an intricate structure of vortices and eddies within other vortices and eddies… The spatial structure of turbulence, like that of any structure that is made of small copies of itself, is said to have a “fractal” nature… Like a vortex, which maintains its shape despite the fact that it is but part of a violently moving fluid, a command system in battle must form an island of stability amid the surrounding chaos, an island created by the same forces producing the turmoil around it.” (Manuel DeLanda).


Since 2008 I am working with Rob Hordijk’s BLIPPOO BOX, which is an audio sound generator that operates according to the principles of chaos theory. By designing the Blippoo Box, he attempted to bridge a crossover space between abstract (sonic) art, music and artistic craftsmanship. In the hands of performing musicians the Blippoo Box becomes an electronic music instrument that invites performers to improvise with the chaotic nature of the box. Despite this chaotic behavior, the produced sounds have particular characteristics that are roughly predictable and enable a performer to build a performance around a composed scheme.

“The chaotic behavior of the Blippoo Box reveals itself through the repetitive nature of the sound patterns it produces when in a stable state. When a control know is changed to a new position, the box will soon go into an apparent random state and then will find a new balance in a new stable state where it repeats another sound pattern. Tiny changes in a knob setting can sometimes produce dramatic differences in pitches and durations for new patterns. By careful tuning and changing the amount of modulation by the resonator, many timbral structures can be given to a pattern. Still, the particular design of the resonator and how it reacts when excited by the chaotic core of the Blippoo Box will impose a certain sonic character on the final sound, giving the instrument its own personality.” Rob Hordijk: The Blippoo Box: A Chaotic EletcronicMusic Instrument, Bent by Design, in: Leonardo Music Journal, Vol. 19, 2009, MIT-Press.

“By using a nonlinear feedback system, patterns are created that exhibit chaotic properties like attractors, bifurcations, etc. Second, the filter also uses a nonlinear feedback system that can go into ranges where bifurcations occur, which results in the creation of ‘undertones’, where the period doublings create harmonic partials that are lower in frequency as the signal fed into the filter.” Rob Hordijk



Dark Circuits Festival 2014





Solo Concert at Warper Party 2009





Hans Tammen – Herb Robertson – Jay Rosen at Bowery Poetry Club


Jan 2009 at Bowery Poetry Club, Hans Tammen – endangered guitar, blippoo box, Herb Robertson – trumpet, Jay Rosen – percussion





More Blippoo Works