Tuesday, 27 April 2010

'Pendulum Music' - An Explanation

I'm Alan Joesbury.
I'll be keeping this blog up to date with information on my project as and when it happens - the research, the building, and the testing of my work.

First to explain the idea behind my escapade.
I plan to create a performance piece based on Steve Reich's 'Pendulum Music'.
Which is based on the concept of swinging three or more microphones above a speaker (each Mic has one speaker to itself). The gain for these microphones is set so that when it passes above it's own speaker a small 'woop' of feedback leaps out when the mic is directly above the speaker.
It is a piece based on the idea of phase and time change between each woop.
Here is an interesting link to an interview with Reich about the piece:

And a video to show a performance of the piece:

This is not the piece I hope to produce however - although it is an option.

I hope to replace the microphones with torches/lights, and the speakers with light sensors. Setting these up using something such as an Arduino board (hardware that converts different signals like light, motion, or sound into other signals) means that I should be able to convert these light signals into MIDI for example, which can then trigger samples using a software such as Max/MSP.

This is a tall order, and I hope to be successful in doing this, however if the challenge becomes too much I plan to use the original 'Pendulum Music' piece using three or more microphones and speakers.

Await more updates - they will come.
Alan Joesbury

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