Teenage Engineering's latest drum machine probably isn't one that you're going to use to add percussion to your next piece. The company teamed up with designer Love Hulten to create CHD-4 in the aim of raising awareness about congenital heart disease.
The drum machine has four modules that produce rhythms based on the electrocardiogram (ECG) scans of four children with heart defects. The scan results revealed the shape, pace and BPM of their heartbeats, Teenage Engineering said. It added the data to a four-track circular sequencer. The patterns can be played together or individually in order to create sounds that exemplify "each child's irregular heartbeat." A video gives a sense of the kinds of haunting soundscapes the machine can create:
"Drum machines are defined by order – beats, pace, and rhythm," Hulten said. "This machine disrupts that system, the same way life is disrupted when a child is born with congenital heart disease." The machine also has an OLED screen that depicts the audio and beat in a similar fashion to a proper ECG machine.
It's an art project, no doubt, but it's a fascinating one that's raising awareness of an important issue. If you're lucky, and have deep enough pockets, you might be able to add CHD–4 to your collection. It will be auctioned on Valentine's Day (February 14th), with all proceeds going to the Swedish Heartchild Foundation.