The Product, a Berlin-based design studio with a focus on objects, space and interaction, was commissioned by Volkswagen to develop a set of visuals for an interactive musical performance for the premiere of the New Beetle at the 2011 IAA motor show (September 15-25, 2011, Frankfurt am Main). What the client got instead was Soundmachines – a custom-built instrument for performing electronic music by DJing visual patterns on record-sized discs. Honk for ingenuity!
The development of the visual turntable trio was nothing short of a process, says Jens Wunderling of The Product in an email. “The initial commission called for a set of visuals for a performance entitled Connectivity, that was supposed to allow both the performer and the audience to contribute to the music. To achieve that the client proposed a camera tracking system analyzing motion in the audience. We realized pretty quickly though that the spatial and lighting conditions at the IAA Volkswagen area weren’t suitable for what they wanted us to do.” A different idea for engaging the audience was needed. Something playful and intuitive that young and old could easily interact with. “We had some vague conceptual ideas for visual turntables earlier. We really liked the elegance of the interface and at some point simply proposed to build them.” So they did.
Created by Matthieu Minguet, knot (e) is a custom built device that offers a new way of using objects that we connect to our mobile devices. The prototypes, shown in the form ropes, harness themselves to revisit the new node as input data. As an extension of a conventional listening device, it allows the user to generate visual and sound compositions by the simple action of “bending the cable”.
The intersection of the rope amplifies the signal. Conversely, the absence of knots and curves restores the application to its original position. Each prototype has its own forms, colours, atmospheres and sound effects. They are polyester sheet halyards from wich the core has been replaced with an empty silicon tube. They are attached with two wood cylinder and custom plugs with rubber rings to the extremities. Each plug are prepared to receive specific electronic components and are easily detachable. They can be connected to one another for more complex compositions or used one at the time.
Firewall is an interactive installation created by Aaron Sherwood and Mike Allison. A stretched sheet of spandex acts as a membrane interface sensitive to depth that people can push into and manipulate expressive visuals.
The piece was made using Processing, Max/MSP, Arduino and a Kinect. Like the Cloud Pinkby Everyware, the Kinect measures the average depth of the spandex from the frame it is mounted on. If the spandex is not being pressed into nothing happens. When someone presses into it the visuals react around where the person presses, and the music is triggered.
Designed by Katharina Hölzl, the following are very special business cards for Ritornell, experimental music duo. The cards were inspired by the project’s live show where Ritornell invited the audience to bring along their private musicboxes. With the aid of laser cutter, nine micro compositions consisting of circles, triangles and Ritornell’s contact information were cut onto a long musicbox paper stripe.
www is the latest iPhone application by Kazuyuki Okamoto (OKAHON), the name behind NNN Mono, Powon and iOSC, experimental sound applications for the iOS platforms. www is a new step, creating an abstract sound toy using strings/waves analogy as a core method to generate sound soon available for both iPhone and iPad.
What makes “www” musical instrument unique is the extent of functionality hidden behind what may at first appear as a simple guitar like instrument. When you start the app, you will find three strings on the screen which you can straight away play with. At the bottom left corner you will find a very small “+” sign opening a whole set of new options. The first layer includes record, play, stop, repeat. The next “+” sign that you will see as one of the options that has just appeared you can swtich on/off any of the strings. Longer tap on any of the on/off buttons will bring additional settings for that wave, allowing you to change mass, ConstK, Drag, Attack force, Tention, Play Mode, Accel Force, Accel pan value, Portamento value and Wave Control Point Display toggle. Tapping on the bars at the top of the screen will allow you to switch to Pitch transpose pad or draw bars where you can adjust Adjust the amplitude of each harmonic. Further down you have a number of other options including ability to frequency of tempo modulation, depth of tempo modulation, change colours of the UI, and finally access to sequencer which is also available.