Halloween Hop - an instrument you can jump on

Our neighborhood is crazy on Halloween with hundreds of kids filing through. For a few years I've put out various noisemakers, this year I made it interactive.

I built sixteen blocks that you can jump on to trigger tones and drum sounds. It was a blast to see so many people, young and old, pirates and unicorns, having fun with it.

My daughter laid them out as hopscotch:

The blocks are 2x12 boards cut to squares with vibration sensors mounted to them. I used a propane torch for my first attempt at the Japanese wood charring technique Shou Sugi Ban. This brings out a striping as different parts of the grain char more or less depending on the hardness.

The a microcontroller that turns the signal into a MIDI trigger. Sound design for the videos above was done in Max/MSP.

IMG_3517.JPG

As a banjo player I hear a lot of banjo jokes. Here's one of my favorites:

    What's the difference between a banjo and a trampoline? 

    ...

     You take your shoes off to jump on a trampoline.

Well, you don't need to take your shoes off to jump on this instrument either.

beatBox DIY

beatBox DIY was created as a donation for the Dairy Arts Center fundraiser Co(i)nspire.

It is made to be modular so you can change the instruments. The beatBox DIY is played by covering light sensors.

Listening Lamp

Listening Lamp is a work in progress for the Co-inspire event at the Dairy Center for Arts in Boulder, Colorado. It is sound reactive with several evolving animations that respond to ambient sound.

The sound reactive Listening Lamp is enabled by 240 RGB addressable LEDs, microphone, microcontroller and a trip to the flea market.

The sound reactive Listening Lamp is enabled by 240 RGB addressable LEDs, microphone, microcontroller and a trip to the flea market.

I brought it out for a test drive at eTown Hall in Boulder, CO. As you may notice from the face paint it was for a  Dia De Los Muertos celebration and fundraiser.

Wreckord Player

The Wreckord Player intercepts the audio from the record and runs it through a Raspberry Pi computer with a granular synthesizer. The volume and tone knobs control some parameters of the synthesizer.

 

SolidNoise @ Guthman Musical Instrument Competition 2016

This was my second time performing at the annual Guthman Musical Instrument Competition. Special thanks to Abhishek Narula for helping build the beast and for showing me around Atlanta.

For this performance we had a total of 24 motors of various shapes and sizes beating on and shaking metal, bottles, drums, and the grid above the performance space.

The music here is an improvisation where I'm controlling the motors from a MIDI controller and some light sensors feeding musical algorithms in Max/MSP.