Trimpin, (Gerhard), German-born inventor, practitioner, and builder of soundsculpture and computerized acoustical instruments; b. Istein bei Lörräch, Basel, Nov. 26, 1951. Professionally he is known by only his surname. He had an ordinary musical training, with an emphasis on playing wind instruments, but recurrent lip infections forced him to abandon such labial practices; he then studied electro-mechanic engineering (1966-73). In 1979 he received a degree from the Univ. of Berlin in social pedagogy; later was an instructor at the Sweelinck Cons. in Amsterdam (1985-87), where he also conducted research in music and acoustic sound technologies. From 1976 to 1979 he also was active with Berlin’s Theater Zentrifuge; also produced set designs for San Quentin Drama Workshop. Trimpin designed 4 Bowed Cymbals for Ton de Leeuw’s Resonances (1987). He also designed a percussive installation of 96 suspended Dutch wooden shoes for the 1986 New Music Festival in Middelburg; in 1987 he designed a similar installation, Floating Klotnpen,at the Jan van Eyck Art Academy in Maastricht, which was subsequently seen at the San Francisco Exploratorium in 1990. From 1988 he collaborated with Conlon Nancarrow in Mexico City. Trimpin originated his own composition entitled Circumferencefor specially adapted instruments, first seen at the New Music America Festival in N.Y. in 1989, and subsequently in Seattle, Minneapolis, and Vancouver. Other works include Three Ply (Seattle, 1984), The Cocktail Party Effect (Banff, 1990), Messing Around (Seattle, 1990; Valencia, Calif., 1992; Mexico City, 1993), Contraption 1PP71512 (San Francisco, 1991; Newfoundland, 1992; Los Angeles, 1992; Seattle, 1993; Montreal, 1994), D.R.AM.A.ohno (Seattle, 1993; Minneapolis, 1993; Iowa City, 1993), Ringo (Amsterdam, 1985; Madrid, 1994), Liquid Percussion (N.Y. and San Francisco, 1991), and PHFFFT (N.Y., 1991; Portland, Ore., 1992; Tacoma, 1993; Ghent and Donaueschingen, 1994). In 1979 he settled in Seattle, where he resides in a Faustian workshop-laboratory, filled with synchronously and anachro-nously activated sound objects. In 1989 he participated in the “Composer-to-Composer” symposium in Tellu-ride, Colo., and in 1990 was artist-in-residence at the Banff Art Center. Among his awards are grants from the Seattle Arts Commission (1990), the NEA (1992), Meet the Composer (1993), the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts (1994), and the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digent “Artist in Giverny, France” program. In 1995 he received a commission from the Mercé Cunningham Dance Foundation. In 1995 he also designed a lavish installation of sounding fabrics, entitled Singing Textiles,for Switzerland’s Museum Technorama. When not engaged in musical endeavors, Trimpin periodically engages in one of his other specialties, salmon fishing.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire