When: Sunday, June 16, 2024, 13:00-17:00
Where: Elektronmusikstudion EMS, Söder Mälarstrand 61, Stockholm
Who is it for: The workshop welcomes anyone who is a composer or musician. Experience with extended techniques and instrument building is encouraged but not necessary
Capacity: Maximum 4 participants.
Fee: Free of charge
Register: Sign up with this form Registration closes on the 14th of June.
The selection will prioritize building a group with a variety of backgrounds.


Electronic music pioneer Delia Derbyshire reflects on how the sound of the air raid sirens sparked her fascination with abstract sounds. She found meaning in these sounds beyond their literal source, saying “that’s electronic music!". How can a siren become a musical instrument when recontextualized? This workshop delves into this idea by crafting and playing with acoustic sirens.

We will examine the siren's lesser-known history as a scientific tool, preceding its ubiquitous function as an alarm and warning mechanism. In the 19th century, acousticians used it to study the ideas of frequency, phase, interference, combination tones and human perception. The exploration of this historical context and ideas will guide us as we design our own siren disks, in an attempt to collectively reimagine its functionality once again.

During the workshop we will have the opportunity to craft siren disks and explore techniques to play on them. The blank disks are a blank slate where we sculpt a physical representation of our ideas on sound. We will learn how to leverage the absolute control the siren gives us over the acoustically generated sound, how the size and placement of holes on the disks manipulates airflow. The gathering culminates in a showcase where we share our material creations and playing techniques, generating a collective repository of shared sonic epistemes. You will leave the workshop with your own siren instrument, the disks you have crafted, and a and a newfound collective imaginary on the nature of sirens and their sonic expression.


Helena Linder currently pursuing a master’s in Interactive Media Technology at KTH in Stockholm, focusing on sound and music computing. Her main interests are synthesizers and instrument design, aiming to explore the historical narratives surrounding sound-producing machines and media through participatory design.

Notice! This workshop will be used for research as part of Helena’s master' thesis in Interactive Media Technology at KTH. The workshop will be audio-recorded, and photos may be taken during the workshop. Helena kindly ask you to participate in a remote 30-minute post-workshop interview, which will also be voice-recorded. At the start of the workshop, and you will be requested your written consent to collect and use your anonymized data (pictures and audio recording transcripts) in future publications (like the thesis report).