A Pophorn is a small program that transform your mobile phone into a musical instrument.
Pophorns acknowledge the mobile phone as a platform for active and social auditory creation, and aim to shorten the distance between pocket and musical action.
Anywhere, anytime. Here's what some people have been up to so far. Horns have been popped for everything from street art installations in Colombia and gala concerts in New York, to sonic pranks during boring library visits. Everywhere you bring your mobile phone is a potential Pophorn moment.
All Pophorns sound different. For instance, the Boomshakular Pophorn produces drumbeats, Corduroid Pophorn vibrate, and the Ophonine Pophorn record and replay whatever the Pophornist chooses. There are endeless outcomes.
Yes. Most Pophorns come without sounds or use sounds built into the mobile hardware, so each phone model might have a unique character. The phone's microphone, its speakers, the recording quality, and the type of built-in sounds will affect the timbre, tone and volume of the sound.
Some people prefer Fender, some like Gibson with a Marshall stack. You'll have to look for a setup that gets you the sound you like.
Perhaps. Try it out! Chances are that if you got your phone within the last two years at least some of the Pophorns will work. We are constantly updating the lists of supported phone models - check the individual Pophorn pages. If you run into trouble don't hesitate to post a question in the forum.
No. Think of Pophorns as tiny live instruments or digital klaxons rather than ringtone editors or audio workstations. We believe the magic is in the live moment - especially when jamming with friends - not in the saved media file.
Of course, if you insist (and have the right cables) you can connect your phone to your computer, record the sound, and then transfer it back to your phone.
The Pophorns are totally free. What are you waiting for?
The Pophorn project is conceived, executed and maintained by Erik Sandelin and Magnus Torstensson from UNSWORN. UNSWORN is an interaction design practice based in Malmö, Sweden. We design post-optimal personal technologies and unaxious social action spaces.
Pophorn history begins in 2004 when UNSWORN made an interactive sound installation called Four Ophones. An Ophone is a loudspeaker with an attached telephone receiver. When an Ophonist has recorded a sound into an ophone, it is repeated infinitely until another sound is recorded into the same Ophone. Visitors participate as audience, musicians, and co-composers.
This simple setup proved immensely popular and after lugging heavy Ophones all over the world (Tokyo, Linz, New York, Helsinki, Paris...) we wanted to apply the qualities of the Four Ophones – the openness, the super-social interaction, the balance of simplicity and potential virtuosity – to our most ubiquitous, personal, electronic device: the mobile phone. The first Pophorn, the Ophonine, is basically a small Ophone.
Pophorns are turning out to be much more than tiny Ophones though. Mobile use situations are excitingly unpredictable since most of us carry our phones with us at all times. We want to practically explore new performative use of mobile phones, especially in local social situations.
Another important reason is that we think mobile phones are just too boring today, especially when it comes to sound. It's time to move beyond the metaphor of mobile phones as shopping baskets to which you download ringtones and games, towards mobile devices as idiosyncratic platforms for mobile sonic action!
No, this is an independent project. It is currently financed with a special blend of scholarhips, voluntary work and optimism.
Great! The project is in an early testing-phase so you can help out by trying out the Pophorns on as many different phone models as possible. Spread the word and software to your friends, go crazy with the Pophorns and then write about your Pophorning endeavours in the Poptalk forum. We're really curious to see and hear what y'all are up to with your popped horns!
Soon you'll also be able to donate to support further Pophorn development.
This site refers to Pophorns as of 2007-2008.
For those of you with old Java-compatible phones you can still download and enjoy the Pophorns.
For the rest of us, there is still hope for a Pophorn resurrection before 2020. Keep the faith!