Global Sounds

2013, Edinburgh (UK)

Exhibitions

September 2013 at Ars Electronica Festival in Linz (AT)
April 2013 in Edinburgh (UK)

Selected Press

Frukt: 5 innovative music installations
Arduino Blog
Ars Electronica Blog

Technology

Arduino, Processing, Webcams, Light Bulbs

Credits

Art, Concept and Development: Picarøøn (Rebecca Gischel & Sebastian Walter)
Musical Composition: Theresa Zaremba (UK)
Sound Design: Rick Savagne (USA)
 

Global Sounds

- 2013 -

Global Sounds is an interactive installation which aims to bring people together in public space. A series of pyramids were installed, each programmed to play different instrumental sections of a song when interacted with. The more pyramids interacted with at once, the richer the song produced, with only full participation resulting in the full song.



About Global Sounds

The number of migrants in the EU has increased notably over the last few years. Migrants enrich the EU by bringing parts of their own culture with them. Global Sounds is an interactive installation which shows the exciting diversity migrants help creating. A series of pyramids were installed at a square in Edinburgh, each programmed to play different instrumental sections of a song when interacted with. The more pyramids interacted with at once, the richer the song produced. When all pyramids are working together, they compose an harmonic musical piece in its entirety. The composition, which was written especially for the project, included a mix of instruments symbolic of different cultures such as the kato and didgeridoo, which are often not heard together, to allude to the multicultural richness migrants have brought to the UK and Europe.

Technical details

Hardware and Software

I used the Arduino Uno. I have one webcam with a fisheye lens on the top of each pyramid. I used the flob library + processing to detect if someone is standing beside a pyramid. If so, one instrument starts to play and processing gives the digital values of the equalizer to Arduino (photo ‘Arduino picture 1′, this was my first testing of the equalizer with normal LEDs). I wanted to use real light bulb instead of LED’s, so I build a transformer (photo ‘Arduino picture 3′) which translates the Arduino-Input into an 12V-Output for the light bulbs which are powered by a car battery. I used 7 pins, one pin per light bulb.