TitleDavid Wessels Slabs: a case study in Preventative Digital Musical Instrument Conservation
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsFreed, A
Conference NameSMC2016
Conference LocationHamburg

David Wessel's Slabs is being conserved as an important element of CNMAT's collection of electronic music and computer music instruments and controllers. This paper describes the strategies being developed to conserve the instrument and how we are reaching for the goals of both maintaining the symbolic value of the instrument as a prize-winning, highly-regarded example of the "composed instrument" paradigm and "use value" as an example students and scholars can interact with to develop their own composed instruments. Conservation required a sensitive reconfiguration and rehousing of this unique instrument that preserves key original components while rearranging them and protecting them from wear and damage.