This MIT sound artist is exploring the power of sound in public spaces

Nicolas Kisic Aguirre developed the Modular Rhythm Machine, an algorithmically controlled machine inspired by the Peruvian Cajon.

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Nicolas Kisic Aguirre is an MIT student who originally comes from Peru where the people use a popular type of drum called the Cajon. The Cajon came about when African slaves, who were brought to South America, were not allowed to play drums or speak to each other. They instead used the wooden boxes to create a special sound through which they communicated.

In his work, Nicolas looked at different ways in which sound has been used from the Ashanti people to North Korea, Toronto and in different wars. Through an instrument he developed called the Modular Rhythm Machine he hopes to continously explore the power of sound. The algorithmically controlled machine is made up of two modules equipped with sensors, drumsticks and a wooden membrane (an ode to the Cajon). The triangular shape makes it easier to assemble.

Nicolas hopes to be able to transfer crypto messages through the machine and because the project is open-source, he encouraged everyone to download the information and build their own machines.