MIDI-Controlled Sculpture Dances In The Video For Timo Maas’ Tantra


The official video for Timo Maas’ Tantra features a custom MIDI-controlled machine, built for the video.

Technical Details:

The machinery that forms the art installation at the centre of the piece was designed, built, operated and then filmed by a group of Japanese artists and creatives, including Daito Manabe, Motoi Ishibashi, Muryo Homma and Youichi Sakamoto. They spent weeks researching and testing materials before building the final installation from Arduino controlled ball dispensers, motorised rotating steel plates and LED lights for filming.

Tantra was then deconstructed into MIDI parts and the data that specified notation, pitch and velocity, control signals for parameters such as volume, vibrato, audio panning, and cues from were then run through the machine to control its movement.

Daito Manabe explains, “The first time I listened to Tantra, I imagined someone producing something endlessly in a base, deep underground. With this image in mind, we started testing different machines, systems and so on, and then we finally figured out the structure and how we’d control the machine – and the motion of the balls – with the music. We felt that this would give it a sense of reality and beauty that is impossible to realise with CGI.”

Check it out and let us know what you think of it!

7 thoughts on “MIDI-Controlled Sculpture Dances In The Video For Timo Maas’ Tantra

  1. Visually it looks great, beautiful lighting and dramatic movements, but it felt totally disconnected from the music and way too simple for such a complex, layered and varied track. I kept waiting for something more involved to happen but ultimately it felt very shallow and to be frank, kind of pointless. Credz for the visual aspect though…

  2. I like it. 3:15 was especially nice. The way the mechanically perfect machines sync with the music contrasts nicely with the uncertainty of the ping pong balls journey after bouncing off of the plates. I didn’t fully understand that until I read the part where they talked about achieving something that CGI couldn’t fully encompass. There’s a lot going on in there and as a whole it makes my brain happy.

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