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.
Towards the end of 2020, Ian started construction of his first robot – the electronic sound generating Hellibot Mark 1. Made largely with bits and pieces found at home, plus several battery powered circuits for movement and sound, the Hellibot reacts to changes in ambient light via the antenna on the head, and alters the electronic tones accordingly.
Over several years Ian has constructed a series of lightboxes and Hellicams, featuring a variety of functions. Hellicam 3 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 Video Pattern Generator, and Liquid Hellicam are kinetic light machines which plug directly into a TV monitor.
Hellicams In Action
For the Hellivision TV a whole new cabinet was constructed, and a b&w portable television was dismantled and rewired. Two audio circuits were built and the outputs connected to the picture tube, in order to generate moving abstract patterns on the screen. One of the circuits can be switched out, and a separate input applied to increase the variety of images.
The Hellidisc Optophonic Tone Turntable 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 continues the series of synths with various capabilities for making electronic sounds and music.
The Hellisizer 5000 with joystick and touchplate, was designed and built during October 2020.
With the first machine in the series, the Hellisizer 1000, completed in 2005, the whole family of Hellisizers is brought together for a group photo.