Interactive instrument: Amplified cactus!

The amplified cactus is interesting to me because it makes a compelling sound using electronics but does not have the “artificial” factor that is present when we fully synthesize electronic sounds.  It is an awesome hybrid of nature and electronics. It is also a versatile instrument that welcomes any type of interaction that the user can think of, as seen in the following video:  (WARNING. Watching this video may make you wish you had an amplified cactus to play with!)

Amplified cacti are called for in various musical compositions.  Our favorite John Cage wrote a piece that incorporates one (along with 9 other nature-based instruments), called Child of Tree.

Allyson Edington


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