The Overtone Violin is an entirely custom built, radically augmented musical instrument that preserves the traditions of violin technique while adding a whole new set of possibilities for the musician.
Rolf Gehlhaar: designer and programmer of current system
Philippe Prevot (F) and Per Hartmann (UK): earlier systems software
A number of proprietary ultrasonic ranging units (8-10) overlook an empty space (40 – 80 msq). This ranging system measures the positions and movements of persons (1 – 10) in the space; the data is used to create ‘musical topologies’, to trigger sounds/influence compositional algorithms.
SOUND=SPACE is an interactive multi-user musical environment in which visitors trigger and influence the production of sounds and souns sequences merely by moving about an empty space surveyed by an ultrasonic echolocation system. Since its development it has been displayed publicly worldwide, becoming a particular favourite with special needs groups primarily because it makes creative musical expression accessible to persons generally excluded. SOUND=SPACE is still being explored by visitors and participants in creative workshops for special needs groups. At the time of writing one of the systems is installed permanently in the Casa da Musica, Porto, Portugal, where workshops for special needs groups are taking place weekly.
Jorgen Brinkman: fabricator
William Thibault: mathmatics and design suggestions
Adrian Freed: advise and resources
Sam Ashley: prototyping and design suggestions
Scot Gresham-Lancaster writes of the Octohedral Harp —
“This controller has gone through several versions and prototypes but all the investigations share the common thread: investigating a three dimensional relationship between solid struts and strings under tension with electronic sensors detecting proximity and frequencies.
This instrument has 72 strings that are tuned to a specific set of just intonations based on the physical geomety of the 3 axis (xyz) that they a running on. 6 strings on each quadrant of all 3 axis = 72. There would not be 72 distinct frequencies on the harp but rather a total of 40 distinct frequencies present. those 40 distinct frequencies are detectable with some ease by a computer, The use of commercially available hex guitar pickups insures some isolation of these frequencies at each bridge. The instrument is played with the techniques of most harps, but since each of the strings is a seperate capacitance antenna they each of the 6 strings per axis acts as a distance sensor.”
J.J. Hegarty and Mikael Fernström create sound sculptures that use electric field sensing (a la Theremin) to detect the proximity and activity of people in public places.
Fernström writes —
“The sensor signals are connected to a computer (MacBook) running Pure Data, where we re-map the signal to various sound files and audio effects. The resulting sounds are amplified and heard through a loudspeaker in the sensing object that (so far) is a stainless steel sculpture.”
David Palma: electronics support
The AirStick is a controller that detects the positioning of a hand using an arrangement of eight infrared (IR) sensors.
Ivan Franco writes —
“Some controllers are based on gesture mapping: music controllers that respond to body articulations performed “in the air”, without any physical contact between a player and the instrument’s body. AirStick is played “in the air”, in a Theremin style. It is composed of an array of infrared proximity sensors, which allow the mapping of the position of any interfering obstacle inside a bi-dimensional zone. This controller sends both x and y control data to various real-time synthesis algorithms.”
YouTube video of Ivan Franco performing at Sonicscope festival 2007.