Archived entries for New Interfaces for Musical Expression

ROYGBIV Performance

Refraction of Your Gaze by Indeterminate Variables (ROYGBIV) is an effort to interface sound with the visible spectrum by digital and analog means. The project draws upon Newton’s theory of light, Kandinsky’s spiritual and utopian visions of painting, and the phenomenological experimentation of Olafur Eliasson.

A collage of field recording, synth sounds, and slide tray noise, ROYGBIV unfolds as colored light is read with discrete sensors. A slide projector reproduces images of the natural world and prisms refract light into its constituent elements. The composition is based on the signature of these combinations.

The first performance took place on Tuesday, December 14 at Glasslands Gallery in Brooklyn as part of the NIME 2010 show. Video of ROYGBIV and the other NIME performances is available here.

ROYGBIV Prototype

Significant progress has been made in the development of ROYGBIV. The color sensors are providing clear red, green, and blue values, the prisms are refracting light enough to distinguish the spectrum, and serial data received through Max is being passed along to Live as MIDI messages to produce synth tones. I’ve also made a contact mic to pick up the sounds of a slide projector. Here is a video of the working prototype.

Still, there’s a way to go before our performance on December 14 at Glasslands. The most vexing issue has been Max for Live’s tendency to crash when serial data is being exchanged. Additionally, I need to develop the compositional aspect of the sound more so that it’s suitable for performance. That also relates to a need for work on the interactivity of the interface beyond small movements of the prisms.

It’s exciting to have brought the project this far but what happens in the next few weeks will determine the extent to which it succeeds.

ROYGBIV

Refraction of Your Gaze by Indeterminate Variables is the working title for a new interface for musical expression that I will perform live in New York on Tuesday, December 14. It is an effort to interface sound with the visible spectrum by digital and analog means.

A collage of field recording, synth sounds, and slide tray noise, ROYGBIV will unfold as colored light projected onto a wall is read with discrete sensors. Slide projectors will reproduce images of the natural world and prisms will refract light into its constituent elements. The signature of these combinations will vary the selection of prerecorded sound and the timbre of synthesizers while mechanical noises are amplified with a piezo.

The project draws upon Newton’s theory of light, Kandinsky’s spiritual and utopian visions of painting, and the more recent phenomenological experimentation of Olafur Eliasson.

Proximity)))

Something I’ve been meaning to do for a while, last week I picked up a Parallax Ping ultrasonic sensor and integrated it with a Pd patch. The result is a theremin-like instrument you can control with your hands by mapping their proximity to the sensor to triggers or values in your patch. Mapping, physicality, and sound all represent the business of this class leading up to the creation of more engaging and complex digital musical instruments.

As an aside, I recently finished an initial reading of Chris Salter’s Entangled: Technology and the Transformation of Performance. Lots of coherent theory and practice outlined in this text. Architecture and performance play a vital role in our new media landscape, the history of which is being written even now.

Not For Pressure

This short sound performance for PVC pipe, microphone, and amplifier represents my attempt to craft a new musical instrument in a week’s time. Resonance from within the PVC pipe is picked up by a standard vocal mic and, depending on how both are positioned, variable waves of feedback occur. A delay pedal is included for additional atmospherics.

I thought it was interesting that the most prominent markings on the PVC indicate what the object is not intended for.

Listen: Not For Pressure [01:40]



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