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Felix Thorn: Felix’s Machines

Felix Thorn was born in Brighton on 23rd December 1985. From an early age his artistic and creative talents were obvious. At the tender age of 7 he began experimenting with Piano. Subsequently he developed a keen interest in music, such as Jazz improvisation and began using computer software to produce electronic music in his early teenage years. His love of art continued in the mediums of painting and sculpture. Looking to combine his visual creative interest with his love of audio experimentation he began to learn some electronics.

His machines were constructed entirely in his bedroom from the main components of dissected acoustic instruments such as the insides of a piano, and numerous drums. Other parts are made out of various scavenged objects including a shoe polish brush, bath rack and a slinky. He also uses various coloured L.E.D lights inside the machines to create an amazing light up display in time to the beats. Unbelievably this was originally submitted for his final degree piece.

Felix’s aim of producing the machines is to take the human element out of the spotlight and really focus on the noise. He feels that too much credit and attention is focused on the artist, taking away from the pure appreciation of the music. His machines play the music he has constructed on his computer in Logic so there is no need for his presence after the production stage. The ability to see the music played as the sound is made is an intensely refreshing experience.

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His music making sculptures are currently being used for many things including theater accompaniment, live shows and installations as well as educational purposes. Using his residency at Gasworks to educate children, Felix was overjoyed to discover that kids had loved his machines and had been dancing around to his music. He thought this would make “an amazing first music video”.

Before Felix plays with the machines in any space he has to compose the music in the space before hand to allow for the individual acoustics. He makes new music constantly as the machines progress and his old production becomes obsolete very quickly so recording is very important as well as extremely difficult to achieve. Transportation is incredibly expensive and new, better parts have to be made as breakages are frequent. Many parts are held together with double sided tape.

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He produces many different sounds from techno to drum & bass and Gabba. With constant improvement and new machines all the time, taking into consideration how young he still is and the extent of his genius and talent, I believe Felix’s Machines may become a stepping stone in the development of Electronica.

Influenced by Pierre Bastien with his Mechano, as well as Electronica legends such as Aphex Twin and Plaid. Felix’s machines are now being admired by the greats in the electronic music industry. He calls his genre Acoustic Synthesis, the acoustic instruments played by robots produces a sound unlike anything else, it is something which has to be seen to be believed.

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