The Trans-Harmonium: A Listening Station

The Trans-Harmonium is a piano wired to play a collection of radios tuned to twelve frequencies, one frequency for each key chromatically. C is reserved for classical when possible, while A, B, D, E, F, G are tuned chronologically based on local stations. The sharps/flats are tuned in between stations, picking up static and overlapping dialog.

This machine was built to travel. By documenting this work in various locations, I hope to capture an archive of audible portraits of various cities. Once the work is well traveled/documented I plan to find an institution with a strong time-based media preservation strategy that is willing to accept the instrument and the archive as a donation or promised gift. Ideally the institution would continue to loan and document the work once it leaves my hands, expanding the archive. Constructed between 2011-12, this project is ongoing.

Emily Francisco. Visitors playing Trans-Harmonium at the Kennedy Center
Visitors playing the Trans-Harmonium at the Kennedy Center
Visitors playing the Trans-Harmonium at the Kennedy Center
The Trans-Harmonium: A Listening Station installed at the Kennedy Center in 2015images above and left: Yassine El Mansouri
Emily Francisco. Wiring chart for the Trans-Harmonium
Emily Francisco, The Trans-Harmonium installed at Artisphere
image: courtesy of Artistphere
Trans-Harmonium Simplex, 2017