SWAYWAY Midi Chimes • interactive Sound Installation • Dec 2004

What is it?

It's an interactive audio sculpture that translates its swaying motion, triggered by the user, into sound and light.

And how does it work?

The user stands in front of the device. With one or both hands starts to touch, bend and play with the reeds. This causes pitch of the outcoming sounds to change according to movements. LEDs (small little lights) also reflect the reeds movements -the greater the movement, the brighter the LEDs. (Play following video)

Where did the idea come from?

This project was inspired by the simple concept of the wind chimes. For centuries, folklore has held that bells have the power to banish evil and invite good fortune. Bells are generally associated to the most varied meanings according to cultures, traditions and rites. The idea was to represent this very simple wind chimes concept trying to keep the simplicity of the object while adding a touch of interaction.

So what's going on behind the scenes?

A microphone captures the ambient sound. Audio is decomposed into basic harmonics and these frequencies are converted into MIDI sounds. Flexible sensors attached to the plastic reeds sense the bending movement and modify the sound pitch. as well as LEDs brighteness. A separate smaller control device allows the user to modify the tempo and select predefined sound combinations.

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