Helli-Machines

Besides his substantial range of Hellitron tone generators and Hellisizer synths, since the early 1990s Ian has been constructing a range of sound and light machines, which often intersect with kinetic sculpture and visual art. Employing his ‘creative soldering’ method and an ‘intuitive electronics’ approach, he has built an array of audiovisual machines – all housed in carefully styled, Dymo labelled cabinets.

Over several years he has constructed a series of lightboxes and Hellicams, featuring a variety of functions. Hellicam 2 is especially useful for creating video feedback – examples of which can be seen here:
Video feedback with electronic music

Different light boxes containing LEDs have sound to light capabilities or motion sensors.

The Hellicam 5 Video Pattern Generator, and Liquid Hellicam are kinetic light machines which plug directly into a TV monitor.

The Expo Miniature created in 2015 and revised in 2020, is a model evoking a World’s Fair landscape, built mostly from odds and ends found at home. It features colour changing LEDs, and has a specially composed piece of electronic music to accompany it.

The Hellidisc machine was developed to use clear CDs with arrangements of black dots, in order to activate photocells and generate electronic sounds. Hellidisc Video

The Percussimate is a rhythm generator featuring drum machine, electronic percussion and echo unit.

The Megatherm is an opto-acoustic instrument, and has a specially made super 8 film projected onto it, for which it automatically plays the electronic soundtrack by reacting to the light content in the film.

Constructed in August 2020, the Hellisizer 4000 is the latest in a series of synths with various capabilities for making electronic sounds and music.