According to his popular 80s ditty, throaty Canadian singer Bryan Adams played his first guitar until his fingers bled – a phrase often used to describe the hours and hours of continuous practice needed to master the instrument. For his latest art installation Moscow-based media artist Dmitry Morozov has taken a more literal approach to music creation, with a synthesized sound maker powered by his blood. Lots and lots of blood.

Regular readers may be familiar with Morozov's odd art/music creations, including the electropollock painting machine, the volnovod cable twister and the pyrite sun player. For his Until I Die project, he wanted to use his "vitality to create electronic sounds."

He gradually drained the 4.5 liters (9.5 pints) of blood needed for the project over an 18 month period, with Morozov saying that conservation techniques were employed to ensure that his donation retained its chemical composition and color, while keeping it free from contamination. The blood pool was then diluted with distilled water (and additives like sodium citrite, antibiotics and glucose) to produce the 7 liters needed for the installation. The very last 200 ml (0.4 pint) of blood was drawn directly from Morozov's arm during the project's presentation.

The artist says that the project reimagines the experiments of Luigi Galvani and Alessandro Volta to create a direct current battery, with metals such as copper acting as the anode and aluminum as the cathode, while the blood serves as an electrolyte. Each of the five battery units has 11 storage tanks and manages to produce about 0.6 V of electricity.

The installation ramps up a total output of 3 V at 1,000 mAh. The bloody batteries power a centrally-positioned algorithm-based synth module that composes the sound and outputs through a small speaker.

Materials used for the project include glass jars, acrylic frames, steel rods and custom electronics. Morozov reports that the Until I Die installation ran for about 8 hours after its launch at a gallery in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

The video below shows the vampire synth in action.

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