Plant-reactive musical instruments

Arduino Music

“Three Pieces” form the Found Electronics Collective collects soil moisture and ambient tempurature readings to alter the robo-acoustic performance of a preprogrammed composition –

Rather than use computers and a PA, we decided to try and build something completely acoustic. In the end, we’ve got a traditional Chinese dulcimer and 12 chimes spread throughout the plants and foliage of the Palm House. The instruments are played robotically, controlled by two Arduinos. Motion detectors and a soil sensor allow us to react to people in the space and to the state of the plants to remix the music we’ve composed especially for the installation. The result is a strange combination of traditional and modern, organic and electronic, nature and artifice. Despite being composed in advance, the music will never be exactly the same twice, in part because it will change in response to the environment and audience, and also because the robots are a combination of accurately machined parts (e.g. mechanical solenoids) and natural materials (e.g. bamboo canes).

Found Electronics: Three Pieces Project Page [via Create Digital Music]

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