Tom Verbruggen's Module # 2 is the second version of his handmade, wooden four-step sequencer. The sequencer is powered by a steam engine and able to wirelessly transmit four MIDI signals to a laptop.
The first version, Module # 1, was presented standing on a white pedestal in
the middle of an exhibition space. It emphasized the beauty of the wooden, mechanical structure, and referred to the industrial machines from the nineteenth century.
During the 2012 Summer Sessions Tom Verbruggen worked on the second version, which ideally should be presented in an old industrial building – for instance a nineteenth century factory. There the sequencer should be linked to the structure of the space, which often has an impressive system of metal pipes, or even huge metal machinery – remnants from an earlier age. Once the wooden, steam powered sequencer is activated, sound patterns will resonate in the space, connecting the small wooden machine with the large industrial structure.
The aim of the work is simply to bring out the beauty of the 'old' mechanical machinery. But there is also an attraction in the idea of a meeting, or even clash, between old and new technology. The mechanical, wooden sequencer, meticulously hand-sawed by Tom Verbruggen, and powered by a little steam engine – prime symbol of nineteenth century industrialism – actually drives software on new laptop, to which it is wirelessly connected and which is hidden from view.
Module #1 by Tom Verbruggen (2009) from V2_ on Vimeo.