Motion to soundPosted: January 12, 2015
Continuing where I left off with the “drone” table I modeled in November, I have taken the most central ideas from that project and moved on in order to explore those more deeply (and efficiently). The drone table was getting at a lot of things; perhaps it indicated some of my reluctance to make my thesis project smaller! Here are some of the questions I was getting at with that mini-project:
Is there room for sonic poetry (music) in quotidian life?
How does a process based on combining unlikely elements (a la the surrealists) create surprising new forms/functions?
Is there value in engaging the body in physical movement to create sound?
What social dynamics does shared sound-making change?
Can I create a simple interface for creating sound that is at once full of possibility and simple to pick up and play at once?
Moving forward, the most interesting question to me here is….well, I’ve narrowed it down to two:
Can I create a physically dispersed instrument for shared/group sound making?
Can I create an instrument that encourages playful activation of the body in space to create sound?
So, I picked up a couple of Wii controllers. A bunch of people on the internet are using these “Wii-motes” as MIDI controllers to control digital music software. They are great to prototype with because they have sensitive accelerometers which measure tilt, roll, and acceleration; they transmit a very stable and rugged bluetooth signal for my laptop to pick up; and output data that is relatively easy to get talking to a variety of audio software on my Mac.
Quick, what’s first? I bought a couple of foam forms (whatever I could find), to start playing with the possibilities (feel free to imagine the symphony of how these gestures might sound….)