SSpeaPer.curtis bahn.tomie hahn

The Sensor/Speaker Performance Interface



As an outgrowth of investigations in the use of Sensor/Speaker Arrays for live performance for our composition "Streams," we became interested in the idea of mounting not only sensors, but also small speakers on a live performer. As Tomie dances, the actions of her body drive an interactive music algorithm which sonifys her performance. The sounds are broadcast back on to her body creating a new sort of audio "alias" for her character; a sonic mask. The interface naturally locates and spatializes the new sounds with her body.


"SSpeaPer" is an interactive sonic context for live performance currently in development by composer/ programmer Curtis Bahn and dancer/ ethnomusicologist Tomie Hahn.

The sensors on Tomie's hands each sense pressure and 2 axis of tilt. This movement data is sent to a micro-controller on her right hip where it is translated into continous MIDI messages and broadcast, via a small radio transmitter on her left hip, to the computer. A MAX/MSP patch maps her movements into various sampled sounds and DSP algorithms, sending the results to an 8 channel audio system. Using a small radiotransmitter, 2 channels of sound are sent to Tomie's arms (discreet information to the left and right). The remaining 6 channels of audio are sent to 3 stereo spherical speaker arrays on stage.

Notes and video of "pikapika"
pikapika images
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