Author & Punisher — made up of Tristan Shone — owes much of his uniqueness to the marriage of art, tech and music.

With a start in hobbiest tech and robotics competitions early on, Shone found a passion for solving technical problems. He attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) to study Mechanical Engineering with a focus on robotics and machine design. The Telecom boom of the late ‘90s – early ‘00s, brought him to Boston to work in the micro and semiconductor automation industry for a few years.

During this time, his involvement as an engineer for friend and artist Chris Csikszentmihalyi (former professor at RPI and then MIT Media Lab) introduced him to new media art, kinetic sculpture and the combination of art and tech, and took him to international festivals and shows for Csikszentmihalyi’s work. This was a huge influence in him then attending the University of California at San Diego for an MFA in Visual Arts, thus leaving industry for art.

This transitional period brought about the first Author & Punisher record, The Painted Army in 2005 followed quickly by Warcry in 2007, both guitar and drum machine based albums. At this point, the music and the art/tech were still separate while Shone experimented with sculpture, sharpening his skills in manual machining in some of the older shops at the University and learning the proverbial ropes of the local industries in San Diego, much of which served the biotech and the Navy. Shortly thereafter, he created the Drone Machines, his first set of industrial sound machines that adopted elements of manual machinery and hand tools. These machines were made to require force from the user so that the sound would have an organic nature, limited by strength and accuracy of the user. Touring with these monstrosities at this early stage in Author & Punisher’s career proved difficult with weight’s exceeding 350lbs for one of the four instrument, although he did several small west coast tours before moving on to new designs. With weight and size limitations in mind as well as a desire for faster more dynamic rhythms, the Dub Machines were designed and fabricated using CNC machines resulting in a very compact but equally physical set of machines utilizing every limb. Much of the aesthetic and design of these new devices was owed also to his work now at the National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research at UCSD as a mechanical Engineer and researcher, and much of the feel and precision design of the Dub Machines comes from Shone’s work with optical equipment and microscopes. Author & Punisher could now travel for festivals and write his fourth and fifth albums –2012’s Ursus Americanus and 2013’s Women & Children. Most recently, he designed a set of three electromechanical CNC-machined masks entitled Mute, Gate and Dither, out of aluminum and various pneumatic and motorized actuation components to modulate his voice. These masks will appear on the new album out in 2015 on Housecore Records.