Beautiful Builders: Moldover

Good translations.

Matt Moldover with the RoboCaster.

Imagine a toaster with five power cords feeding energy into the small hot chamber, forcing a slice of organic life to change. Five wires from five sockets: the will to create gathers from compelling forces, if you are susceptible.

Matt Moldover builds beautiful things. Look at the work in his guitar; design, materials, circuits, craft, planning, and music — just seeing it makes you hear things. If you are susceptible.

Amazing that so many threads are pulled together in one work from one person. But look around; from air conditioner to airplane, the constructed world began as ideas: it was in us and then it was here. Along the way a thought crossed a threshold and was pushed into action. Words can’t reconstruct the event precisely, so instead we say “Moldover built The Mojito, a microphone controller…don’t ask me why.”

Nathan Lively with The Mojito by Moldover.

Builders build for themselves. Something intangible, and then barely past silent, requires them to attend. The plan arises and demands and is allowed, becomes a project that gestates within, becomes words, becomes actions, becomes a thing emerged from their hands, given out, delivered. Builders build for others.

The craft of building is in choices. Time will be spent, and money. The wayward attention that served before, focused. A suspension of expectation, of approval, of success.

In the mid-time, the builder lives in a state of failure, determined to make something no one has paid them for, and maybe something few will want. Fulfilling no demand but their own, and how far can that carry a person? Hope is burned, all the hope in the world flows in and through. Projects are a long prayer, and sometimes as peaceful, requiring quiet concentration to call created elements forth from the other side.


Answered by the tangible produced, like a CD packaged with a light-theremin. No one saw that coming, except Moldover.

In the early 1500’s William Tyndale translated the bible into English. He wrote most of the King James Version New Testament (and was first strangled and then burned at the stake for, I suppose, not being Christian enough). He was compelled by the idea that every person, even the peasant plowman of his time, would gain from the wisdom locked away in Latin.

Results differ, but the process is always the same, and the cost. What emerges might not have an impact on anyone. Or it might change the world. Either way the builder’s life is spent, like fuel or a machine slowly wearing down down in its efforts, re-powered in turn by urges, promptings, one thing leading to another, and luck. And either way, an intangible grows into a reality, this reality, where we get to touch it and hear it, and be surprised in our own recognition that the almost-silent was so well executed: that even a product crafted from technology can convey the joy from the source of its own creation.