By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) –– A textile loom that doubles as a musical instrument. It’ll see its first public performance Thursday night at the Moore College of Art and Design.

These synthesized melodies aren’t coming from a keyboard. They’re controlled by foot pedals on a loom, rigged to assign different musical values or drum samples to the patterns being weaved. Musician Chris Powell says he engineered the wooden loom to become what he calls a “Loomstrument.”


Credit: Mike DeNardo

“It’s a relatively basic setup with the pedals,” said Powell. “But when it talks to the other machine that I built, that’s where it starts to get really as complicated as I want to make it.”

Powell’s wife Mary Smull will operate the Loomstrument and Powell will select the sounds Thursday at 6:30 p.m. as part of the Bodyworks performances this fall at the Moore College of Art.


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