Teenage Engineering is known for their quirky, outside-the-box approach to musical instrument design, which has lead to the Swedish company accruing a cult-following in synthesizer circles. Their latest endeavor, however, is a one-of-a-kind art project that is being auctioned off for a good cause.
See also: Youtuber spends $14,000 and countless hours building gargantuan keyboard
The bespoke drum machine, named the CHD-4, was created with the aim of increasing awareness of congenital heart disease. At its core, the CHD-4 is made up of four modules that are modeled after rhythms from an echocardiogram (ECG) scan of four children with congenital heart defects. Information from the scans were modeled into the device’s four-track sequencer, which serve as the starting point for the sounds you can create with the CHD-4. From there, the user can experiment and adjust the sound to their own liking. From the demonstrations I’ve seen thus far, the CHD-4 is capable of creating some truly eerie soundscapes.
As reported by FastCompany, the project had its genesis in Oskar Hellqvist, whose birth of a son with congenital heart disease spurred him to create something from the grief he felt. This lead to a collaboration with renowned audiovisual artist Love Hultén, who brainstormed to create something that turned the source of this grief into something that could create beauty, and ultimately be used for the greater good.
The CHD-4 is currently up for auction, and will be open for bidding until February 28. All proceeds will go towards the Swedish Heartchild Foundation, a nonprofit that supports children born with congenital heart diseases and their families.