TRIAC: Peruvian noise and artisan circuitry


Above: TRIAC @ Espaço 104, in Belo Horizonte, Brazil

(Pode ler a cobertura aqui em português.)

TRIAC is a Peruvian collective made up of Gabriel Castillo, Rolando Apolo and Omar Córdova. (They share the name of an abbreviation of an electrical component, a triode for alternating current.) I actually met TRIAC in Brazil when their visit coincided with the end of the Interactivos? workshop in Belo Horizonte in December. They played a set during the opening of the Interactivos?/Gambiologos Exhibition and also gave a workshop organized by Azucrina Records at Marginalia Lab the following weekend. It made sense to put this post up now that I’m living in Barcelona and understanding much more Spanish (well, Castellano here) and can finally read and translate the material surrounding their work.

TRIAC in concert:

TRIAC is an experimental sound and visuals project. They create pulsing, glitchy, shifting and sometimes screetchy textures and soundmasses, and perform hidden behind traditional Peruvian masks. They are interested in using and recycling objects such as infra-red remote controls, televisions, radios, video recorders and toys in conjunction with more standard tools such as microphones, signal processors and real-time programming environments, and emphasize a self-taught and accessible approach to technology.

(photos by Azucrina Records)

The members of TRIAC taught how to explore elemental physical properties using simple equipment and household objects, how to listen to and play with forces that are otherwise silent and invisible. They began by showing examples of transduction, which is the translation of one kind of energy into another, such as chemical into kinetic into electromagnetic.

Omar as a child, by all accounts, was an electrical engineering prodigy, studying with engineers in their twenties when he was only twelve years old. He was responsible for explaining the technical details behind they projects they shared.


One of the projects was the construction of large electromagnetic microphones which were multi-stranded loops of copper wire. These were created by wrapping the wire 300 times around a several gallon water jug, sawing the jug open, carefully removing the wire and wrapping tape around it to keep it in place, and soldering the ends to audio cable. These microphones can be used by simply holding them near electromagnetic objects such as cell phones and laptops, and they produce a nuanced version of the crackling noise that occurs when a cell phone is held too close to a speaker.



The members of TRIAC are also part of a collective called aloardi, and work solo and in other collaborations. (See aloardi’s blog.) They also cite their work with the French collective APO33 as an important point of artistic exchange.

Solo work by Gabriel Castillo:


2 thoughts on “TRIAC: Peruvian noise and artisan circuitry

  1. Pingback: TRIAC: Peruvian noise and artisan circuitry « Aloblog

  2. Pingback: Experimental noise from Peru’s TRIAC - Sounds and Colours

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