Audiovisual artist Love Hultén has teamed up with Teenage Engineering to devise an arrhythmic drum machine to raise awareness for congenital heart disease (CHD). CHD-4 is conceived as a modular synth with a sequencer, handcrafted from wood and based on the real ECG scans of four young CHD patients. Each of the four heartbeat patterns have been transformed into a four-track circular sequencer, allowing the user to play and create music in tandem.
On Valentine’s day, the instrumental machine was put up for auction through Stockholms Auktionsverk to raise funds for the Swedish Heartchild Foundation, a nonprofit supporting children born with congenital heart diseases. The auction starts on February 14 and ends on February 28.
all images by Love Hultén
TRANSFORMING ELECTROCARDIODIAGRAMS INTO MUSIC
Although over 1.3 million babies are born with CHD each year – making it the most common birth defect in the world, the issue has low general awareness. To increase knowledge and engagement, Swedish tech company Teenage Engineering and designer and woodworker Love Hultén’s CHD–4 unites art, technology design, and purpose.
The drum machine was created using the electrocardiograms of four children named Liv, Janiyah, Vincent and Wega — each born with different heart defects — and works like a modular synthesizer. Each child’s ECG has been decoded to a sequencer, creating distinct patterns based on individual shape, pace and BPM. Each sequence — or ‘heartbeat’ — can be played separately or together to produce a wide range of sounds, and can also be manually offset in relation to the others to further explore the soundscapes and create sounds that exemplify each child’s irregular heartbeat.
each of the four circular plates in the sequencer each represent a patient’s heartbeat
Expanding on the project, Love Hultén notes: ‘Drum machines are defined by order – beats, pace, and rhythm. This machine disrupts that system, the same way life is disrupted when a child is born with congenital heart disease. Transforming these tiny broken hearts into sound was a truly heartfelt experience. I sincerely hope the machine ends up with someone who will cherish the craft and purpose and that the auction generates a sizable donation to the cause.’
the display, inspired by an ECG machine, shows the rhythms being played in real-time
the modular synth is contained within a handcrafted wooden box
designer: Love Hultén
collaborator: Teenage Engineering
edited by: ravail khan | designboom