The Sampo is an electronic device made for any musician or composer to expand the sound field of an acoustic instrument. It is designed to play all genres of music. The Sampo can also perform the repertoire of mixed music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. It is aimed at professional musicians as well as amateurs.
The Sampo allows the soloist to access the signal processing parameters and control them in real time through simple gestures.
The purpose is to allow musicians to have an effective way to produce "live-electronic" music without any location constraint, even at home, and to play this music the way we play a classical instrument, improvising and having fun.
The musician is thus completely autonomous - he or she does not need an assistant and can work wherever they want, in their home studio or quietly at home...
The Sampo is easy to transport and install. You can play wherever there is a simple electrical outlet.
Components of the Sampo
The Sampo is composed of a wooden box containing the electronic equipment and a set of continuous variation pedals.
The box contains all the elements to capture, process and play sound.
A touch screen gives access to selecting works to play and modifying the electronic configurations. It also serves as a dashboard for the user, displaying information useful for performing (the positions of the pedals, selected effects, position in the sound file, etc).
A sound card and high-quality loudspeakers are integrated in the box. The Sampo is a completely autonomous system that does not need any extra equipment. Two Jack TRS outputs at the back of the box make it possible to connect the Sampo to external loudspeakers during concerts.
The management of Sampo is done by using a specific software. The musician and the composer each have their own interface to best suit individual needs. The software is used to set up the parameters for the composition and for the visualization of sound processing parameters.
Wifi / Internet
The Sampo can be connected to the internet via wifi. The Sampo can thus receive the new configurations of effects and new parts upon request from the musician. Configurations and pieces appear directly in the menu without any intervention and are ready to be used.
Two types of parts can be played: live-electronic pieces and tape music.
Concerning live-electronic pieces, each continuous variation pedal affects one or more sound processing parameters, such as delay, transposition, feedback, decay and others. This way, the musician changes and adds sounds to his instrument using the movement of the pedals as it is written in the score. The purpose is to add a new sound dimension to a traditional acoustic instrument.
In addition to the live-electronic pieces you can play tape music - in this case the musician uses four pedals:
- to trigger the play and to move inside the file to facilitate rehearsals
- output volume level of the instrument
- output volume level of the tape,
- Adding an effect (usually reverb).
Regarding the repertoire of contemporary music nearly all mixed music pieces from the twentieth and twenty first centuries can be played.
In addition, new pieces written specifically for Sampo are made every year.
The available repertoire can be found at www.sampo.fr.
Compositions written for Sampo
There are many pieces composed specifically for Sampo, and every year the repertoire is further enhanced. A composition contest allows composers worldwide to discover the device and try to get a commission for a new piece.
Compositions transcribed for Sampo
A important transcription work of mixed music is done to constantly enhance the number of pieces available for Sampo.
The transcript of the pieces ensures the perpetuation of the large directory of existing pieces. Currently available pieces include works by composers such as Kaija Saariaho, Steve Reich, Jean-Claude Risset, Yan Maresz or Pierre Jodlowski among others. Transcripts are done at the request of musicians who are willing to play with Sampo.
Naturally, the Samop can also be used for improvising. The choice of electronic treatments makes it an interesting tool for exploring new sound universes and for expanding one's personal expression.
The Sampo is a very intuitive device. Every action affects the sound parameters of the instrument, allowing the musician to hear the results immediately.
Its ease of use makes the Sampo particularly interesting to teach electroacoustic music, contemporary music and improvisation at conservatories and music schools.
The device can be used for audio creation with any acoustic instrument, as well as composition classes.
Sampo can be transported in two different ways - either with two suitcases, one for transmission and one for the pedals, or in one case (flight case) especially when shipping Sampo by mail.
Sampo weighs approximately 8 kg and all pedals weigh 10 kg. If the elements are all gathered in one suitcase, it weighs around 23 kg in total.
Sampo and mythology
In Finnish mythology, Sampo is a magical object that will make its owner wealthy. Today Sampo is an object that produces sound transformations of acoustic instruments and contains the composers' wealth inside of it.