Rainforest sound installation is an interactive sound element mimicking natural sound phenomena made of custom made porcelain resonators and vibration drivers.
The actual use of porcelain is an innovative experiment in acoustics and porcelain design. The organic looking porcelain shapes are in fact an 7.1 channel audio installation making use of special vibration drivers, which turn the shapes into speakers. The emergent soundscape is driven by the movement of the listener.
The Rainforest sound installation is based on previously developed concept of resonant porcelain shapes as part of the artist in residence stay at The Edge, Brisbane. The major difference is in the design of the main suspending base of the sound installation. It's structure is composed from multiple pieces. Thanks to it's design following a smooth curve of stretched out wings in the space it resembles a mid-air hummingbird or manta ray.
The first idea was to use 'data sonification' technique and sonify meteo data from the Australian East Coast to connect the organic porcelain elements with actual environmental variables (hence the original name the Sound Extrusions). Afterall I have decided to use direct interaction with the listeners within the space at The Edge lobby. One of the reasons was also the fact, that the meteo data rate of change is way lower, than would be needed for any musicaly perceived changes or soundscapes generated by the MAX/MSP patch.
As the interactive element tool was chosen the MAX/MSP jitter library in combination with a live webcam video stream. Video frames are analyzed for specific color changes in the frames compared to the floor color. The x and y axis is than translated into Ambisonic sound position. The rate of change is also continuously evaluated and sounds are triggered, when the acceleration exceeds a specific treshold.
The actual sounds are stored in two banks: the drone section and the solo sound themes. The solo sound themes are thrown into the soundscapes as spatialized elements each time acceleration exceeds set value. The drone section builds up the underlying vibe and mood of the soundscape, while the solo sound theme bank follows the movement and fast paced moves of the listener.
Extensive filter section allows the sound installation to 'be tuned' and reflect each shape resonant properties and overall sound EQ characteristics.
porcelain making advisory: Corey Biever (ceramic artist, AU), Lukas Urbanec (freelance artist, CZ), Dan Pirsc (ceramic artist, CZ)
MAX/MSP programing advisory: Michal Rataj (Music Academy in Prague, CZ), Hans Tammen (Harvestworks NYC, US)
realization support: Alena Ševců, Miloš Hernych from Technical University in Liberec