Ed and I did a demo of our Noise Boundary music ensemble at UNT Thursday morning for a kinetic arts class taught by David Van Ness and David Hanson. For those who aren’t familiar with the project, we’re developing a collection of autonomous robot instruments that will collaborate among themselves to improvise music. At the current stage, the instruments are being controlled via MIDI from a single laptop running GNU/Linux and autonomous music generation algorithms we’ve written in the ChucK programming language.
The two instruments used in Thursday’s demo include our autonomous 2.5 octave Glockenspiel and the sound generation chamber of a circa 1890 manual pump reed organ that has been converted to operate from an industrial vacuum motor. Both instruments are controlled by onboard Arduino boards (the Glockenspiel uses an ArduinoMega). Development of this project has slowed down the last couple of months since the DPRG lost it’s space and the weather has made working in my garage difficult. Once we get the new hackerspace online, this is one of the projects we’ll be working on regularly there. We have a China cymbal and Snare drum that will become part of a soon to be built percussion pod. And crazier stuff like a pentatonic Rijke resonator organ has been discussed.
For more, see my Noise Boundary photo gallery. The video above is the equipment test I did in my garage the night before the demo. David Hanson captured a few seconds of the event on iphone video.