The instrument’s name is a term coined by architect Buckminster Fuller in the 1960s. The term describes a state of structural stability achieved by tension and compression between rigid elements that are connected to each other via flexible elements.
Tensegrity is made of six wooden bars and twelve strings. Attached to the bars are audio transducers to capture the instruments vibrations as well as actuators to feed them back after digital processing. This establishes an audio feedback loop.
The instrument is played by bowing, touching, tapping and modulating parameters of the signal flow. Each physical interaction affects the feedback and possibly pushes it into a new semi-stable sound. Tensegrity fuses performer and instrument into a meta-system of human-instrument entanglement.