(Video and Photos: Elisa Unger)
CNC-embossed watercolour paper, addressable RGB LEDs, Teensy LC (light control and sequencing), contact microphones, audio interface and computer running Pure Data (machine learning & sound synthesis) and Processing (Pure Data GUI).
In which ways is it possible to embody musical works into musical instruments? ‘A Moment of Transition’ is a live electronics work performed with a novel interface whose form has been inspired by certain sound gestures. Through the ‘action of the hand’ Tomás’ explores the tactile patterns engraved on the instrument. A machine learning system clusters and recognizes tactile and sonic contents enabling real-time manipulation of digital information previously stored and analyzed in the computer. A generative lighting system augments the paper’s physical materiality while it also inscribes a visual narrative inspiring musical forms. The result of this physical encounter is a live performance where sound, light and interface become both musical notation and instrument.
This performance shows us how much our body is the central actor empowering those ‘moments of transition’ which transform artistic intention into sonic outcome. Our bodies, embedded in a perpetual action and perception loop, explore physical materiality and inform us about the world. But our bodies are noisy. They do not only enable performance but they also sculpt our ´being-in-the-world´. In ‘A Moment of Transition’ interface´s materiality becomes physical notation provoking performace. Tomás´ noisy hands, freely exploring the affordances of this system, finally produce the sound work we perceive.
Technically, touch sensors and contact microphones are used to capture tactile activity on the paper which has been embossed with a CNC. This information is chuncked and analyzed in real time extracting mathematical descriptors (Mel Frequency Cepstral Coefficients). This information is used to drive a machine learning system resynthesizing captured gesturality into new sound. This is achieved after ordering and concatenating chunks of a digital sound archive previously analyzed and clustered by the same algorithm.
(Produced with the support of ENCAC Network)
Performed at L.E.V. Festival 2018, MEQ Festival 2018, Blaues Rauschen Festival 2018, Eufonic Festival 2018, Medialab Prado Madrid, Alte Schmiede Vienna, etc.