Weather Thingy – Real time climate sound controller , created by Adrien Kaeser at ECAL

Weather Thingy is a sounds controller that takes real time climate-related events data to control and modify the stings of musical instruments. It is made up of a weather station on a tripod microphone, and a custom built controller that is connected to the weather station. I think this is very inspiring for me because I had never thought of connecting weather data with sound production. This has sensors that observe the climate and assign various parameters received to audio effects. The creator’s artistic sensibilities, in my opinion, especially come in the very clear and minimal that makes use of clear color-coded buttons, as well as customized parts of the project as a whole. It is also notable that there are many real-time interactions going on.

The user can at any time constrain the value received or amplify it with two potentiometers on the edges of the screen  (Creative Applications Network).

Rachel Shin- LO4

Weather Thingy – Real time climate sound controller

In 2018, Adrien Kaeser developed a computation system that linked climate and music to produce a variation of sounds according to the change in climate. Kaeser developed this system with Arduino, Weather Meters, environment sensor, C++ coding, and MIDI, allowing him to configure a connection between climate and sound production.

As someone with a musical background, I admired how Kaeser took the time to configure each component of music and audience experience to a certain climate factor. He altered the panning, delay, and frequency according to the change in wind, UV sensor, and wind speed respectively. I appreciated this project particularly because it allowed Kaeser to encourage listeners to adopt a different musical style in contrary to the conventional pop, lo-fi, and rap styles taken today. I suppose that the algorithms used to generate the work came from creating two platforms of which one was made to visually represent a soundscape while the other produced configured sound variations based off of the visualized soundscape. The two were then linked with coding and sensors to produce this “Weather Thingy.” The creator’s artistic sensibilities manifested in the final form by controlling and modifying music and sound production by a console and interface that translates climate data into a visual representation of sound.



Crystal Xue-LookingOutwards-04

Carsten Nicolai is an artist and musician based in Berlin who is famous for presenting the scientific quality of sound in unique artistic ways. In the contemporary ages, art is not merely 2 dimensional. It can be interpreted and perceived in all different senses. And Carsten is dedicating his life working on visualizing sound in the most minimalistic installations.

This is one of his recent work -Reflektor Distortion, as the video and the photos shown progressively further away, the installation is conceived as a rotating basin filled with water. The contrast of the black and white used here is perfect for showing the distortion nuance of the sound changing in its frequency.

Carsten Nicolai – reflektor distortion
Carsten Nicolai – reflektor distortion

As we gradually stepping outwards, the installation is fairly simple, straightforward and effect-maximized. I really appreciate the aesthetics and simplest medium that Carsten chose here – “water”, as opposed to complex technology devices.

LookingOutwards 4 – Danny Cho

Dot Piano – by Alex Chen & Yotam Mann

I love how the sound of piano is directly translated in to a warming visual. Personally, when I play piano, I enjoy playing subtle music as jazz or acoustic music, and this kind of visualization of sound matches it really well. At Cooper Hewitt, I encountered this creation and thought it was so beautiful and fun to play with, especially in a bigger scale. It is also available online at with different types of displays.

Each note is assigned a color and a path to move in. The intensity of the sound and the volume determines how bright, fast, saturated the colored circle will be.

I would like to create some kind of collaboration between sound and coding in this course.

Ghalya Alsanea – Looking Outwards – 04

Making of Off the Staff (link)

By Nicholas Rougeux, September 6, 2016 in ArtData

Seeing music

Each dot represents a note in the score. Pitch is indicated by the distance from the center of the image, while the time at which the note occurs is given by the angle from the 12 o’clock position. The size of the dot indicates the duration of the note, and the color of the dot is different for each instrument.

The Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi

How they were made

“I can’t read music but I can parse it. The talent of reading music has always escaped me which is a little ironic considering I grew up in a musical family. However, I’ve always enjoyed how sheet music looks so I took a shot at visualizing the notes from musical scores and the result is this series of posters.”

Nicholas Rougeux (the artist)
Scores for single instruments use a single color.
Scores for multiple instruments use color as an added dimension to differentiate instruments.

The original process was:

  1. Original MethoExport XML from MuseScore
  2. Convert XML to CSV with Luxon
  3. Upload select CSV files to Google Sheets: “Copying and pasting tens of thousands of cells into Google Sheets was a slow process and prone to failing—even with the speediest of browsers.”
  4. Combine CSV files with Google Sheets: “The process of combining CSV files with Google Sheets was the most time-consuming step of the original process and had the risk for inaccuracy.”
  5. Import CSV into NodeBox to generate images

The new process is:

  1. Export MIDI from MuseScore
  2. Generate CSV from MIDI file with midicsv-process
  3. Import CSV into NodeBox to generate images

More details on the process here. This includes early versions and tools used. Earlier process can be found here.

What I admire most about his work is the fact that you’re able to visualize an entire musical score in one image. It was really mind opening for me to see the work of famous musicians and how structured they are, especially the work of Bach. It is like although they were made for the beautiful sounds, they still exist to be beautiful visuals.
More examples of Rougeux ‘s amazing posters.

Gretchen Kupferschmid-Looking Outwards-04

Mixing both art with experience design, the hotel Sister City in NYC has a special sound installation in their lobby. Through a collaboration between musician and composer Julianna Barwick and Mircrosoft this project utilized Microsoft’s Custom Vision Service which utilizes artificial intelligence to track and analyze various elements of the Sister City environment through a camera on the roof. Through this knowledge, it then triggers the sound specific to what the camera has recognized. For example, clouds play a different sound than birds, and as things occur in the environment, a “song” is produced in the lobby. I find this extremely interesting because it creates a generative music installation that although is very technical, its being made by the natural environment around you. It also allows Barwick to see her own sound scores become something of their own as they are controlled by “outside forces”.

A video describing the project

Yoshi Torralva – Looking Outwards – 04

A video showcasing Janet Cardiff’s process in creating The Forty Part Motet sound sculpture.

The Forty Part Motet fits within an emerging fine arts category — sound sculpture. Created by Janet Cardiff and first installed in 2001, the artist uses 40 speakers to create an experience that transports oneself into a choir. Each speaker only emits a single recording of a singer in the Salsbury Cathedral Choir. What this does is heighten the experience of being in the actual cathedral. Additionally, one can move around the speakers to have the feeling as if they were immersed in the choir floor. What I admire about this is that it uses technology in a way that is founded on creating a compelling human experience. Each speaker represents the individuality of the singular singer and allows for the opportunity for the viewer to partake in different listening experiences. A customized algorithm to channel the individual sound recordings to individual speakers most likely had to be used. Much explanation wasn’t provided on the technical aspects, but the program used most likely had to implement various channelings to different audio recordings and speaker inputs. What I find very interesting is that the artist focuses on the limitation of unnecessary visual elements to heighten the powerful voices within this installation.

CJ Walsh – Looking Outwards 04 – Sound Art

The Last Gun – Constantine Zlatev

The piece that I chose to focus on is called the Last Gun by Constantine Zlatev, with collaborators Kostadin Ilov and Velina Ruseva. Zlatev is a San Francisco based artist working primarily with disassembled materials to create sculptures.

This piece is made from a disabled shotgun and other industrial parts. The shotgun has been transformed into a double barrel flute and is played by moving compressed air through the structure. Using programming, the sculpture charts the rise and fall of US arms exports and translates that information into music. When the yearly exports of arms increases the flute is programmed to play a somber tune, and when exports drop the sculpture plays upbeat music. The piece is controlled through open source electronics, an Arduino microprocessor and a Raspberry Pi board.

I find the experience of this piece to be really interesting. Obviously, the shotgun cannot fire, but the mechanism used to push compressed air through the flute does have a very jarring sound. The combination of these quick shot like noises combined with the tune of the flute makes for a very interesting sound environment.

The artist writes in his bio that his work is heavily grounded in historical, social and political significance, in addition to his own personal life experiences. What I found very interesting was that he states that a lot of his work is about having ideas and then having an irresistible need to see them realized. This piece definitely feels like a spur of the moment idea that came to fruition, so I think that it’s cool that his process doesnt seem too serious.

Carly Sacco – Looking Outwards – 04

The Mylar Typology is an audio – visual performance of continuous textures that seem to shimmer and flow with the amplification of sound. I thought this project was particularly appealing because of the calming effects the visual and audio had as you watch it. The muted colors that seemingly blend together and create swift vibrations seem to always be rippling off of each other.

One of the visuals Prudence uses in “The Mylar Typology.”

I could imagine that the algorithms used to create these visuals are complex since they not only have to correlate to each other, but also to the changing sounds that occur. Paul Prudence shows his artistic abilities in this project with his attention to details of the sounds played and how the visual reacts.

A key striation effect Prudence uses that appears to shimmer with the audio.

Kristine Kim – Looking Outward – 04

Amanda Ghassaei, SugarCube: a grid-based MIDI and MaxMSP interface that produces sounds with different tilt movements.

Sugarcude, an arduino powered grid-based MIDI,Musical Instrument Digital Interface, controller boots up into a variety of apps to produce sounds. Amanda Ghassaei, the creator behind this piece was inspired by the monome and tenori-on when she was in college. She focused on having the controller itself do all the app processing, not relying on a computer to process button presses/analog controls into MIDI, which makes it portable. The controller can boot up to 7 different apps even though it has the potential to boot up to 16 total. This device is primarily a MIDI controller, but the artist also wrote an app that allows the audience to pull the button and analog data into Max MSP and control audio. I was drawn into this project because of its simple design and its ability to produce sound by itself. After examining the artist’s website and her procedures into making SugarCube, I was more intrigued by concept and idea behind her work. The website contains a lot more complex and detailed steps of the project.

Demonstration Video of the instructions of how to use the cube.