Ben Neill’s unique Mutantrumpet is an electro-acoustic instrument with a wide range of control capabilities. Initially designed in 1980 as an acoustic instrument with 3 bells, two sets of valves, a trombone slide, and quartertone capability, Neill made the instrument interactive with electronics in the mid 1980’s in collaboration with the synthesizer inventor Robert Moog. In 1992, while in residency at STEIM’s (Studio for Electro-Instrumental Music) research and development lab for new instruments in Amsterdam, Neill made the Mutantrumpet fully computer interactive.

Neill began developing Version 4 of the mutantrumpet during a 2014 residency at STEIM. The design was developed with engineers Frank Balde at STEIM, James Lo and Matthew Ostrowski in New York, and maintained the same basic layout of Version 3 in order to preserve performance techniques developed for that instrument.

The physical instrument was built by Van Laar Trumpets in the Netherlands incorporating elements of the old design with new brass technologies.

Version 4 includes 16 switches, 2 X/Y joysticks, 5 potentiometers and 2 Infrared motion sensors for a total of 28 onboard controllers. The new instrument utilizes the STEIM RoSa software with a Max control interface along with Ableton Live. Version 4 made its debut in the premiere performance of Fantini Futuro at Roulette in Brooklyn, NY in September 2019.