Screened as part of NZIFF 2010

Trimpin: The Sound of Invention 2009

Directed by Peter Esmonde

Infectious portrait of Trimpin, an eccentric, extremely talented kinetic sculptor, sound artist, musician and composer who uses scavenged materials to craft fanciful musical instruments of his own design. With the Kronos Quartet.

USA In English
77 minutes DigiBeta

Director, Producer, Photography


Rick Tejada-Flores


Matthew G. Monroe
Gabriel Miller




Kronos Quartet
Conlon Nancarrow
Kyle Gann
Charles Amirkhanian
Jacob MacMurray
Cork Marcheschi


SXSW, Vancouver, London 2009

“The artist known simply as Trimpin is a sonic experimenter, a combination of inventor, engineer and composer, who builds stunning installations, such as a mountain of self-tuning, automatic electric guitars or a perpetual motion machine. Originally from Germany’s Black Forest region, as a young boy he became obsessed with Harper’s Electricity Book for Boys, and was drawn to America when he discovered he would have access to more material (that is, junk) which he could use in his creations. He shuns loudspeakers and recording equipment, and is deeply cynical about the commercial art world, refusing to put a price on his work, so it has only been seen and heard in select galleries, museums and concert venues. Peter Esmonde (Rivers and Tides) followed this brilliant eccentric over a two-year period, taking in an attempt to convert earthquake data into music and a lively collaboration with the Kronos Quartet that involves toy instruments and some fraught discussions, emerging with this insightful, exultant documentary portrait.” — Michael Hayden, London Film Festival

“A fascinating insight into how creativity works” — Darren Bevan,