Adam Pultz Melbye

The FAAB (Feedback-Actuated Augmented Bass) is an instrument developed in collaboration with Halldòr Ùlfarsson in 2019. The instrument is comprised of a traditional double bass, augmented by the insertion of an 8-inch speaker into its lower back, the application of pickups, an amp and a microprocessor. The vibrations of the strings are picked up by the pickups and fed to the microprocessor running various signal processing algorithms. The output is then sent to an amplifier and finally, to the speaker vibrating the body, and hence the strings, of the instrument. Consequently, a loop is formed between the strings, pickups, microprocessor, amp, speaker and body, causing the FAAB to enter into self-enforcing loops.

A significant aspect of work with the FAAB is to uncover territories between performative proficiency and the physical and digital resistance of the instrument. Rather than diminish the autonomy of the FAAB in order to achieve complete mastery over the instrument, my interest lies in the dynamic relationship between performer and instrument and the precariousness of such encounters. My work with developing signal processing algorithms for the FAAB reflects this interest and involves designing digital behaviour that escapes the control of the performer.

Work and research on the FAAB is supported by The Danish Arts Council, The Nordic Culture Fund's Opstart Grant and The Danish Composers Society (DKF).