Magnus Harmonica

by Tara Rodgers

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A composition of overlapping drones using 1950s-60s toy electric organs as source material. Many of these organs were produced by the Magnus company, whose founder took inspiration from the Ford motor company in advancing the mass production of musical toys. Magnus organs, with their pitched tones often overpowered by the noise of the motor inside, were once marketed to teach children proper ways of playing music. These objects continue to circulate second-hand and beyond, with sounds that show the effects of age and disrepair.

This piece was presented at the Signal Flow Festival, Mills College, Oakland, CA, 2004, and an excerpt is included on the Women Take Back the Noise compilation (Ubuibi, 2006): ubuibi.org/wtbtn/

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released April 30, 2004

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Tara Rodgers Maryland

Tara Rodgers is a multi-instrumentalist composer and historian of sound. Recent projects map migration flows and weather patterns in multichannel sound. She also performs on piano and records techno as Analog Tara.

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