Trimpin, sound sculptor

Trimpin is a Seattle-based, world-renowned sound artist, kinetic sculptor, engineer, musician, composer, and inventor. He has described his work as “an ongoing exploration of the concepts of sound, vision, and movement, experimenting with combinations that will introduce our senses of perception to a totally new experience.”

The son of a brass and woodwind player, he spent much of his childhood and young adulthood playing with both traditional and nontraditional musicalinstruments, investigating the sound components of such objects as the radio and lines of wire. Trimpin built his first sound sculpture at the age of 8 at his home in Efringen-Kirchen, Germany. He later apprenticed as an electro-mechanical engineer, furthering his interest in acoustic sound spatialization. Trimpin moved to the United States in 1980 for the simple reason that in the United States, he would have larger access to antiquated technological components, which were scarce in Europe at the time. While Trimpin does use familiar sculptural materials to compose his works, he also takes advantage of the latest technologies to activate sound and movement; often his installations are controlled by computers.

Trimpin is the consummate creator. His sound sculptures, simultaneously whimsical and serious, have not gone unnoticed. A 1997 recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship, Trimpin has been awarded numerous prizes and both public and private commissions throughout his artistic career. The artist was an artist-in-residence at California Arts Institute in 2009 and in May 2010, California Institute of the Arts awarded Trimpin an honorary doctoral degree.

No stranger to the Ojai Music Festival, Colorinpurple inaugurated Trimpin’s relationship with the Festival in 2006, and was followed up with 2009’s installation of two sound sculptures, Sheng High (2005) and Guiter-Toy (2009).Trimpin was selected by the City of Ojai Arts Commission to produce the permanent public art for the new Libbey Bowl: Sound Arch, which graces the entrances of the new venue.