A kinetic sound sculpture for two electric guitars and one electric bass. Taking its name from the classic rock combination of guitar, bass and drums, this fairground-esque installation invites the audience to navigate the space around and between the instrument-machine band members and wander through their perpetually aleatoric song.
Modeled after traditional Balinese and Javanese gamelan orchestras, the GamelaTron is an amalgamation of traditional instruments with a suite of percussive sound makers. MIDI sequences control 117 robotic striking mechanisms that produce intricately woven and rhythmic sound. Performances follow an arc similar to classic Indonesian gatherings, where stories from great epics, such as the Ramayana, are told and settings given in words that are continued in music.
1. Part I [listen]
2. Part 2 [listen]
Audio: Max Neuhaus, Radio Net, 1977
This week marked the passing of a true visionary of contemporary art, Max Neuhaus. Originally an accomplished solo percussionist who toured with Boulez and Stockhausen, in the late 1960's Neuhaus moved his practice out of the concert hall and into the public sphere, setting up numerous sound-based installations in and around New York City.
Perhaps his most famous installation is Times Square, consisting of a large speaker emitting a resonating drone from beneath a traffic island grate in the heart of the spectacular crossroads. The work is remarkable for its ability to carve out a meditative sonic chamber amongst the clamor and saturation of its surroundings.
Neuhaus's work spans many mediums and technologies, from installations to performances to network-based compositions, such as Public Supply, made for telephone lines, Radio Net, made for broadcast radio, and Auracle, a voice controlled instrument played and heard over the internet. He even designed and patented a unique siren system for emergency vehicles that creates an "aural image" of the vehicle so to inform the listener of the vehicles direction and proximity.
You can find his writings and examples of his work, including a great video about Times Square, here:
Processing, the open-source programming language and production environment developed by Ben Fry and Casey Reas, turned 1.0 yesterday. While it started off as tool for sketching and teaching the fundamentals of programing, Processing has developed into a full-fledged alternative to expensive proprietary software for the creation of everything from data visualizations and interactive installations to music and video. In just 7 years, Processing has grown into one of the primary tools used by contemporary artists working on digital projects, and stands as one of the finest examples of the power of open-source development.
Visit the Processing website to download the 1.0 version and start making things!
Read more about the 1.0 Release on Casey Reas' blog.
In this new series, Rhizome invites artists to explain the nuts and bolts of their work. Our first contribution comes from recent ITP graduate and Rhizome's dynamo former Technology Assistant Nick Hasty. Here, Hasty describes his project The EM Brace.
The EM Brace is a wearable device for physically engaging with electromagnetic radiation emitted by the consumer and communication technologies that constantly permeate our bodies. The device attunes the body to the presence of electromagnetic frequencies through amplifying these frequencies and turning them into powerful sound waves that vibrate the wearer.
The EM Brace consists of a metallic enclosure that is worn on the back (fig a) attached to a pair of antenna gloves that fit on the hands (fig b).
Extending from the metallic enclosure are four flexible metal arms which wrap around the ribcage. The enclosure and arms are secured to the body via four straps that connect at the chest (fig c) through a four point harness. Putting on and using the EM Brace has been described as a mix of being strapped into a roller-coaster, scuba diving, and getting a massage.
Since the majority of our interactions with electronic objects involve the use of the hands, the antennas that pick up ambient EM frequencies have been embedded within a pair of gloves. These antennas consist of four inductive coil antennas, specifically telephone pickup coils. When the antennas enter an electromagnetic field, an inductive voltage signal is created within the coil. The frequency of this signal is the same frequency as the electromagnetic field in which it's produced, so the antennas' signal directly corresponds to the electromagnetic frequencies of nearby electronic devices.
The signal created within the coil is then sent from the antennas into a preamplifier circuit located within the metallic enclosure (fig d ...