Paper Music

As a former professional musician (several records nearly sold), I’ve tried combining the two main hobbies in my life, with interesting if mixed results. Using computer software such as ACID pro and Ableton, I’ve arranged and mixed the sounds of paper together. I should mention the work of Paul Jackson, a fellow folder (and Yorkshireman!) who has done a lot of work in the area of paper sonics, not to mention a banger concerto!

You may be surprised to learn that it is possible to make music with paper. In a conventional musical sense there are origami whistles and bangers, then you have the “comb and tissue paper” and the “tooter”, where a small triangle of paper buzzes at the end of a tube.

However, even using computer technology, there are interesting challenges if your music isn’t to fall into the “almost unlistenable” category of pops and rustles. Rhythmic elements are not a problem, but finding melodic content certainly is. This is where I’ve used VST plug-ins to extract and augment the harmonic content, at least enough to please my own ears.

Music made from paper will always be somewhat challenging to listen to (unless you are a Stockhausen fan!) but you can judge for yourself.

My pieces

Against The Grain

The Chain Tape Collective Paper Music project
Alfredo Costa Monteiro – Paper Music
Music from any source to musicians of any disability 
Forms of Music РSteve Roden