Cybersonica:

Another installation of the someth;ng collective got me totally fascinated: midiBalls is based on Markus Quarta´s Interactive Surround Sound (ISS) cube , an interactive table that tracks luminous objects on its surface. midiBalls is a musical interface that you can touch, feel and play with. The aim is to keep a few "virtual balls" under control, which are flying around the screen, emitting various sounds as they bounce off each other and the physical elements on the table surface. Each ball's parameters (volume, speed, etc.) and the sound it makes can be adjusted. Up to four people can play together with it.

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What I found quite amazing is that the sound produced are actually quite pleasing (though I was more interested in catching the little spheres than in trying to make any kind of music), it's quite easy to manipulate and the lights and colours of the table are so photogenic that I almost made decent pictures of it.

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Second day at Cybersonica: will blog more on it as soon as I'm back in Pizzaland. In the meantime, here's Someth;ing's Headspin, an installation that made everyone laugh.

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You are asked to put your head into a washing machine and set it spinning. The excellent acoustics of the machine's drum accompanied by its different cycle speeds and visual effects, create an unexpected result from a familiar and well-known domestic device. Meaning that according to the washing programme you've selected, your voice will be quite ridiculously transformed into high pitch, squeeky tones, echoes, etc.

I've had a fantastic first Cybersonica day. Apart from some experimental and mathematical music we've had this afternoon, i must admit that i didn't totally grasp the beauty of it.

Golan Levin gave a passionate talk (i wrote down most of it and will blog it later) and showed the Manual Input Sessions he developed with Zachary Lieberman.

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The system is meant to be much simpler than Messa di Voce and the most spectacular version plays with hand shadows. The projection of analog overhead projectors and digital computer video projectors overlap which produces an unusual hybridized, dynamic light. A computer vision system analyses the sihouettes of the hands as they scribble on transparencies, and move across the glass tops of the overhead projectors. The hand gestures and transparency drawings are analysed by a custom software which in turn generates graphics and sounds coupled to the forms and movements of the hands. The responses are co-projected with the organic, analog shadows, resulting in an almost magical form of augmented-reality shadow play.

Check the website, the awesome pictures will give you a meagre idea of what we've seen today.

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