SYMPHONY IN D MINOR
‘Symphony in D Minor’ is the result of an intensive 1 1/2 year collaboration between artists Patrick Gallagher and Chris Klapper. A large scale series of hand made kinetic sculptures using cast resin, steel, sound and mapped video projections. It is an interactive installation that creates a changing environmental experience and aleatoric music composition where the viewer becomes both musician and conductor of a thunderstorm.
Inspired by the ARCUS CLOUD, the large rolling cloud formations that precede massive thunderstorms, the 22 ft X 5 ft diameter cylindrical forms move through the air when pushed by the viewers. Each sculpture is an individual instrument activating visual and sound elements of a thunderstorm. The viewer can compose a cacophony of sound using variations of thunder, wind, rain and lightning or choose to hear the subtle breeze of an isolated wind far away.
A sensor chip that measures changes in g-force tracks the position of each sculpture. Transforming the large pendulum motions into triggers for the sound and visual elements of the storm. This information is used in the object oriented program MAX/MSP to trigger MIDI notes on an audio sequence that recurs at intervals of 34mins 48sec. In addition to sounds the trigger also changes the video playback from blues skies to torrential storm clouds.
How was MAX used?
MAX/MSP was at the very heart of this epic scale project. The installation contained 8 internally mounted video projectors, 5 networked computers, 4 Arduino UNO boards with each processing information from an accelerometer chip and a full scale sound system. A series of independent MAX applications were built to process and exchange information within the entire system. Using serial port patches and UDP send and receive objects data from the accelerometers traced the position of the sculptures as they moved through space. From there a series of math functions transformed data from the pendulum motions of the sculptures from changes in the X/Y/Z axis to radians and degrees. A switch was then created by giving these numbers a threshold and a reset time. These triggers were then used to initiate MIDI notes in an audio sequence built using LOGIC PRO. Additionally, these triggers were networked back to the sculptures to control the the scaling of the video and a video crossfader built with MAX's JITTER components.