Tag Archives: music

Shamanic Painting | week 2

Shamanic Dots (2017). Acrylic on Cotton Sheet.
Shamanic Dots (2017) closeup 1
Shamanic Dots (2017) closeup 2
What did you feel and see while listening to the drumming?

Lying on the ground, I felt as if I was floating in a sea of sound. I was more aware of my stereo hearing, and the sounds entering each ear. The rhythmic constancy of the drumming conjured a mood of stasis and fluidity. However, the silence that accompanied the drumming prompted my mind to wander and reflect on past and future events. I saw blues and reds in motion, appearing in patches and waves.

Do you think your painting expresses something about you that you didn’t know about yourself?

This painting experience made me realise that although a large painting surface can be initially daunting, I can feel comfortable working with it, and without a pre-defined outcome.

What can you imagine about people that listen to this drumming as a way to reach another unseen side of life?

I imagine that they are very spiritual individuals who practice meditation and other calming techniques to focus or empty the mind of everyday clutter.

How did your painting change throughout the process? Or was your initial mark also the focal point of your painting in the end?

I started by painting one of the first wave motions I saw. The initial stage of the painting process was filled with hesitation and uncertainty. Some of this uneasiness subsided once I softened the green (original colour of the sheet), a colour which I did not envision while listening to the drumming. Prof Kelly also advised me to work with and not against the polka-dot pattern of my sheet, which I used to create the fluid patches of primary colours.

Did anything surprise you?

After overcoming the initial uncertainty, the automatism of creating the abstract painting felt liberating. The mind could take a backseat and be guided by our ears and eyes.

dotw2: AR Music Kit

AR Music Kit is an interactive audio device created by London-based sound artist/designer Yuri Suzuki. It was developed in partnership with his YS Labs team and Google’s Data Arts Team.

AR Music Kit creates a unique ‘do it yourself’ musical experience which allows users to make music using just an app, print outs and everyday objects. Users print and cut out black and white square markers and stick these onto any objects they wish to create music with. Using a smartphone camera and the free mobile app, users capture themselves interacting with their setup. The camera senses when they ‘play’ a note/chord (by covering a marker with their hands) and the phone produces the corresponding sound. 3 modes are currently available: piano, guitar and music box.

It’s a very democratic and accessible interactive device as users don’t have to physically obtain or purchase it in order to enjoy it. Instead, it makes use of augmented reality sensors, paper print outs and a smartphone which are (relatively) easily available. The experience is also entirely customisable and can appeal to people of varying ages and musical ability.

The app is free and the software is available online on github in order to encourage developers, students or hobbyists to improve and further develop the project.

Aside from the great augmented reality musical experience, I really appreciate the spirit of openness and democracy of this device. It is simple, inclusive and enabling.


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Other works by Yuri Suzuki: http://yurisuzuki.com/


Alternative Rainstick

Documentation for electronic musical instrument prototype. Created using max 7 and Teabox sensors. The Alternative Rainstick is a dual sound musical instrument which marries elements of a traditional rainstick and monophonic keyboard. It produces 2 different types of sounds, a base rain noise and an octave of notes. The pitch and type of sound can be easily controlled for both.

This rainstick uses the umbrella’s affordances in combination with 4 different sensors, namely the gyroscope, bending sensor, pressure sensor and slider.

The gyroscope controls the pitch of the rain sounds and is paired together with a swinging motion. The degree the umbrella is tilted corresponds to pitch i.e. tilting the umbrella downwards will produce a low pitch. The volume of the rain is controlled by the bending sensor and how open the umbrella is. A fully opened umbrella would produce a dense rain sound at full volume. Similarly, closing the umbrella will create softer rain sounds.

The umbrella’s ‘open’ button, attached with a pressure sensor acts as the universal ‘key’. Note sounds are only produced when the button is pressed. It functions similar to a piano key: the note is sustained by keeping the key pressed and stops when it is released. The variation between and forte and piano can be achieved by simply pressing the button lighter or harder. The slider controls the pitch and has a one octave range.

Max patch:

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