Touch me

Alessandro Perini – “Touch me” (2019)
for cello, capacitors, custom-made circuits and electronic sounds

Click here to download the score in PDF
Click here for more info about building the hardware

Music composed / device designed and built by Alessandro Perini (with the precious help by Gualtiero Piazzi). A commission by AGON for Milano Musica, premiered in November 2019 at Teatro Franco Parenti (Milan, IT), with Francesco Dillon (cello) and Massimo Marchi/AGON (sound).

Cameras: Fausto Pizzocchero // Work-In-Progress excerpts, at Dialoghi sul Comporre / Reggio Emilia (IT), December 2019


Cello strings are open terminals of an electronic circuit. The cellist’s fingers are a network of electric conductors, with different ceramic capacitors connected in series and in parallel. The blood capillaries themselves make it possible for our flesh to behave as a capacitor. Even the custom-made bow is constituted by a series of capacitors connected in series. Alternate current flowing through the cello strings, the performer’s hands and the capacitors makes the three involved elements (the human body, the cello and the circuit) a unique organism able to produce sound.

This piece explores the relationship between what is heard, what is expected and what is seen.


Le corde del violoncello sono terminali aperti di un circuito elettronico. Le dita del violoncellista sono una rete di conduttori elettrici, con diversi condensatori ceramici connessi in serie e in parallelo. Gli stessi capillari sanguigni fanno sì che la nostra carne agisca come un condensatore. Anche l’arco è costituito da una sequenza di condensatori posti in serie. La corrente alternata che attraversa così le corde, le mani e i condensatori rende i tre elementi in gioco (il corpo umano, il circuito elettronico, il violoncello) un’unico organismo capace di produrre suono.

Il pezzo esplora la relazione tra ciò che si vede sul palco, ciò che si si aspetta e ciò che si ascolta.

Capacitor bow

Final look of the finished and encased oscillator box, yet with no lid.

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