1city 1001vibrations sound installation


“1c i t y 1001v i b r a t i o n s” is mainly a live interaction system where its resource comes from the sonic space of Bosphorus, Istanbul. Supported by Istanbul2010 European Capital of Culture organization.

This autonomous and real-time operating application makes a continuous content analysis, live from the signals received by the microphones installed on top of significant historical places.

The sounds are transmitted to the installation venue live and accompanied by an algorithmic composition derived from the content analysis in order to lead the performance of the two Kuka industrial robot arms playing the ethnical percussions, namely the Turkish drum, gong, cymbal, bendir, Tibetian bowl and glockenspiel. The content analysis application is sensitive to the frequently happening sonic events in Bosphorus, such as the ship horns, seagulls or boat engines etc.

In the meantime, the daily sounds of the Bosphorus will be diffused by a speaker system with a special treatment and interpretation (influenced this time by the performance of the robots).

How did this project use Max?

MaxMSP has been used to realize the audio scene analysis application for the sounds captured on Bosphorus, to drive the Kuka robots with a versatile communication protocol between MaxMSP and Kuka Robot via ethernet XML format, the algorithmic composition application which creates a percussion performance from the content analysis of Bosphorus, and Max4Live for live electronic sound diffusion influenced by the performance of the robots using Bosphorus sounds.

Do you remember the first Max patch you ever made? What was it?

I have started to learn MaxMSP for realizing my Stochos application, a stochastic sound synthesis environment, which has been reviewed later on many academical publications and found great interest by the community. To be precise, it was the end of 2001 and learning MaxMSP within such a project has been a very good practice to advance in programming on this platform.

How did you come up with this project idea?

The "1city 1001vibrations" sound installation project has been designed for using the city of Istanbul itself as an input & control resource. Therefore is was appealing enough for the Istanbul2010 European Capital of Culture organization, who gave the main financial support to realize it. But the idea of integrating this concept with the autonomous performance of industrial robots and the interaction design with the sonic space of Bosphorus has came somehow instantly, which I don't really remember when & where exactly. My main motivation is always to realize something new, unique and not having been done before if possible.

What sorts of problems did you have to solve?

Many technical parts of the project hasn't been tried before by myself. So I had to do a detailed theoretical design and try to find the means to realize it. For instance, the transfer of open air sound sources via internet online to the installation venue, and soundscape analysis of the Bosphorus has been a programming phase on MaxMSP. The control and the communication of the Kuka Kr16 industrial robots between MaxMSP and therefore the creation of a versatile musical performer from the robots has been a great challenge and process to develop. The dynamics and the programming of the robotic processes was totally new to me. In total, it has been a real system development, where different parts are communicating to each other and it has been a great satisfaction for me to see that many detailed theoretical ideas were becoming realized in time and working properly. I was also especially proud to be able to bring different partners from diverse disciplines and not primarily related to art; together to find solutions and share some great effort to succeed on what we plan to do.

If there were one person who you would want to see your project, who would it be?

Such a difficult question! I don't think I can name or create such a person.

At the conclusion of this project were you:
a) exhausted
b) ready to do a new one
c) thinking of ways to expand it
d) [other, please describe]

Well, honestly a) but then c) and b) of course...