Risks and challenges
When I submitted for the Godine Fellowship, I prepared a preliminary budget that turned out to be highly modest. After learning more about the traditional instrument, and now having made an instrument from scratch, I now know in more detail what is needed for an extensive project like this in terms of tools and materials. I also now have a broader network of experienced craftspersons to help me determine what I need and guide me along the way.
Design and Build
This is my first time designing an instrument, so there will likely be some figuring and refiguring in the build process. However, before I became an artist in music, I was an architectural model maker, and had always been good with my hands. My guitar-building mentor, Ivon Schmukler, often tells me "You're hired!" his way of telling me I've done well and has often told me that I am more skilled than his average student. While my craftsmanship is handy, people like Ivon are huge asset in planning.
The electronic features of the instrument will most likely be the most time consuming in terms of programming and testing. While I was at MassArt, I took classes in electronics (Electronic Projects I and II), so I have experience with Arduino programming. I have kept in touch with my professors, one of which is an electronic musician who makes his own instruments. They are a vital resource and I am lucky to have them to turn to if I come across problems.
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Ultimately, I will be putting on a concert as a display of my new invention. Event production can be a large animal. As a graduate of the Studio for Interrelated Media (SIM) at MassArt in Boston, I have been part of production teams and have a good general understanding of how to put a show together. I am fortunate to have in SIM a virtual family of artists, performers, producers, and event technicians to collaborate with. I am confident I can find the right people to produce a fantastic premier concert.