Ambient Synthesis Sculpture Reacts To Its Environment

Sunday Synth Jam: This video captures Ambient Synthesis – a sound sculpture, created by Amanda Ghassaei, that responds to light to create a unique audiovisual interpretation of its environment.

Light sensors in the device pick up changes in its surroundings (the scenes from this video demonstrate the piece responding to sunsets and sunrises). This data is interpreted by a MaxMSP application to create abstract symmetrical patterns and a slowly evolving synthetic drone.

The inspiration for the piece, according to Ghassaei, comes from the idea that simple sounds can be mixed together to create more complex sounds, an idea called ‘additive synthesis.’ In this piece, each pixel represents one frequency of a harmonic series. When a pixel becomes active, its respective frequency is incorporated into the mix to create a gradually evolving soundscape that, over time, produces a wide range of timbres and textures.

Technical Details:

  • 2 arduino duemilanove
  • 256 white LEDs driven by 4 TC5940
  • 256 infrared sensors multiplex with 4051’s
  • MaxMSP running additive synthesis patch “inkblot”
  • a modified version of MonomeSerial


3 thoughts on “Ambient Synthesis Sculpture Reacts To Its Environment

  1. Ouch – these “sounds” are probably the best way to damage ones ears. Sorry to say, but it the visual of the landscapes are far more interesting than this pointless noise.

Leave a Reply