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Amplified cactus

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Title: Amplified cactus  
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Subject: Idiophones, Cacti, Idiophone, Kaisatsuko, Electrocardiophone
Collection: Cacti, Experimental Musical Instruments, Idiophones
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Amplified cactus

An amplified cactus is a cactus plant used as a musical instrument. It harnesses the acoustic properties of a cactus (preferably a Denmoza or Geohintonia), by applying contact microphones and amplifying their projection and tone.[1] The effect is somewhat ethereal, making it a suitable genre over which modern dance might be choreographed. Vivien Schweitzer of The New York Times reports "Jason Treuting played an amplified cactus, running his hand over the plant's unfriendly spikes to produce an alluring sound like a babbling brook."[2]

The amplified cactus is a medium rarely written for, even in the contemporary music genre. [3] Rudy mentions in his own program notes:[4]
The idea for a cactus and tape work came about when I heard a performance of John Cage's Child of Tree. I was immediately taken with the sound of the cactus in particular. Taken from its natural environment and placed in the confined and groomed existence of a pot, amplified with a contact microphone, the cactus took on a completely new and interesting character...

External links

  • CHILD OF TREE - John Cage
  • Laud Plasmaht - Ariel Guzik


  1. ^ Jenkins, Greg. "Cactus". Australia Adlib. Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  2. ^ Schweitzer, Vivien (2007-07-20). "It Makes a Great Sound; Just Watch out for the Spikes". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
  3. ^ Paul Rudy Extended Bio
  4. ^ Paul Rudy, Program Notes
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