Catherine McCurry

The Path

The Path is 3D sound composition that anyone can perform.

3D Sensing and Visualization Seminar,Sound and The City: Sound and Urban Intervention

The Path is an instrument created using the Kinect and OpenFrameworks. I arranged several sounds in a conceptual 3D space - mountains of sound. The volume of each sound is governed by the position of a performer within the space in relation to each sound's center. The pan of the sounds are controlled by the performer's level (crouching and standing will cause the sound to move from left to right and back again).

I then designed a score, in the form of a path made from mesh fabric strips attached to a mat. A performer follows the path along the floor in order to perform the piece . At every knot/bow in the score, the performer should crouch. At the end of the path, the performer should slowly back off of the mat.

The code for this project is a modification of code I worked on in Kyle McDonald and Zach Lieberman's 3D Sensing and Visualization class. The position of the performer in space is calculated by removing background information, then calculating the bounding box and centroid of the performer. The program controls the volume and pan of the individual elements of the composition based on the location of the performer's centroid.

Musicians, movers, technologists, kids, adults, people with ears.

User Scenario
An individual user would perform the piece by following the simple directions of the score. People could take turns, and "improvise" within the space of The Path, exploring the sonic world of the 3D instrument. If a user were unable to perform the piece themselves, I would perform it for them.

The Path is made from a Microsoft Kinect, a floor mat, my laptop, and either speakers or headphones. I think headphones would be ideal for an individual user experience at the show, but the wire may get in the way.