Expression Musical Instruments

Project Description: I headed a project team looking at building musical instruments within the constraints of desktop PCs. The team developed numerous iterations of many instruments.

I used a kaleidoscope application written by Kate Swann, which took input from the computers microphone and gave the desktop different abstract patterns depending on the type of noise in the environment. I then wrote software for a 3-D dancing fork which generated its own appropriate accompaniment. The most successful piece was called the Web (this was before the WWW was very popular). A beam traced radially around the web like an air traffic controller’s screen. Users could add eggs into the web, which would create a sound as the beam ran across them. Users had controls for changing all aspects of the music including pitch, volume, duration, tempo and instrument. Users could also save out compositions. There was also a special interface for more accomplished musicians to create sound palettes for the web.

I collaborated with Joy Mountford and Geoff Smith, Andrew Hirniak, James Tobias, Amee Evans and Tom Bellman at the Expressions Group, Interval Research.

Technical Notes: Most of these instruments were created using Macromedia Director/Lingo and Hype

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