Light Hum

Light Hum is a AC sequencer console that allows the musician to control the brightness and sequence of 8 light bulbs. Each bulb has a photocell theremin attached to it to convert the light frequency into audio frequency. I am using different photocells/phototransitors, resistors and capacitors to generate different tones. The heart of the AC sequencer is a board designed by Mark Kleback and Ezer Lichtenstein. Check it out, its pretty freaking awesome, This project is completely analog, no computers were used for the audio or the visuals. The above performance was shot at Glasslands in Brooklyn on December 9th, 2012.

AC Sequencer (On/off switch, dimmer switches for lights, potentiometers for speed and steps of sequence, pause button and switch, reset button and 8 outlets for AC power):


One of Eight Light Theremins (Two Photocells):


Light Theremin Container (One/off switch, indicator light and 1/8 inch audio out):


Light Theremin Circuit Board:


AC Sequencer Interior (Mark and Ezers Sequencer connected to 8 solid state relays):


PCBs for Relays:


Performance at Glasslands:


Light Hum

For NIME I am putting together an instrument that takes the buzz that is produced from lightbulbs and enhancing them to create music. I will be experimenting with photocells and piezo discs to amplify the sound from the bulbs and will be playing with fluorescent and neon tubes.

Basic design/mockup:

Test with piezo discs:

Test with photocell theremin:

Neon test with photocells:

Project Schedule:

Project Inspiration:
Dan Flavin Dia Beacon Installation
Atsuhiro Ito and his Optron
AC Light Sequencer

Project Resources:
Pocket Theremin