Yuri Suzuki x Yamaha : Industrial Instruments

During my time working at Pentagram as part of the Yuri Suzuki team we have collaborated with Yamaha Design Laboratory to create ‘Industrial Instruments’. Three bespoke instruments were created by reusing industrial objects as the focal points for sound, interaction, and aesthetics.

It had already been through several iterations to identify and develop the most feasible interactions, objects, and sound qualities. After prototyping a wide range of objects, the instruments were developed using various switches and combs as their focal point. The final three were built to a professional standard by a specialist furniture maker and instrument builder.

Yuri Suzuki says,

“First of all, I am very impressed that Yamaha are undertaking such an adventurous project. It’s driven by narrative as well as being focused on the fundamental research of what a musical instrument is. Decades ago, ambient music was defined by Brian Eno; the sounds of nature and sounds which surround us suddenly became elevated into ambient music. Later in the 90s and 00s, it grew to encompass electronica, noise from TVs, and glitches from computers, as demonstrated by pioneers such as Alva Noto and Ryoji Ikeda. These instruments are placed between these two time periods—still acoustic but focused on using industrial objects, making them unique in both their interaction and sound. I strongly believe the sounds and performances produced using the instruments are incredibly unique.”

The project culminated with a live performance at the Design Museum. It consisted of performances by professional percussionists, as well as a presentation from Yamaha giving context to the concept and process behind the project.

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