This video is a demonstration of Richard Hoadley’s Gaggle, an experimental generative sound interface.
Here’s what Hoadley had to say about the Gaggle Generative Sound Interface:
The Gaggle prototype has been imagined, designed and developed in order to experiment personally with such interfaces, and primarily with the link between sensor (in this case ‘pings’), physical computing board (in this case Arduino) and SuperCollider audio language.
Gaggle provides an opportunity to investigate performance using Gaggle, including questions such as:
Does the number of sensors affect the nature of the interface? Does increasing the number of sensors to a point where they are difficult to control consciously affect performativity?
Does the relative position of the sensors affect the result. In particular these ultrasound sensors can interfere with each other, especially when designing for movement such as that created by dancers.
How does the type of movement to be used with the interface affect the use and design of the interface? For instance, in this case, how is the direction of the sensors affected and what difference does this make?
Interplay between physical implementation and software algorithms: for instance, does the physical nature of the interface need to be reflected in its performance results. Of course all the usual issues concerning algorithmic composition and structuring arise at this point.
Nebraska science god Aaron ALAI, an expert in the theoretical side of wildlife ecology, demonstrates Stochasticity, a music installation that lets you draw musical notes with water:
The name of the piece is called Stochasticity. I built it to demonstrate the randomness that humans introduce into very precise systems.
When someone uses my art piece they are directly interacting with a very precise electronic tool. It produces musical tones based on the amount of resistance sensed in trails of water. The resistance changes unpredictably, and thus this is where the variability in the system arises from. The water evaporates, the user will flex their muscles, their hearts will pump blood at varying rates, and the conductivity of their skin will change. All of these variables change the placement of the notes in the water and make the system unreliable. I found it interesting that even though imperfect animals such as ourselves are plagued with randomness, we are capable of producing reliable highly precise tools that we can indirectly interact with.
I have included it here on my webpage because it fits within my philosophy rather well. The concept of resistance is commonly explained with analogous personal experiences, a common experience involves turning on a water faucet, wider openings allow more water to flow through and more water means more electricity. My art piece bridges the gap between personal experiences and the complexity of resistance. The user can visually see themselves changing the resistance of the electronic system while receiving an instantaneous auditory response. They become the resistor and can manipulate that variable in a familiar way.
It’s fascinating as an art installation – but can you imagine larger, multi-player temporary electronic instruments – made of water?