Here’s a nice option for art installations and sound projects that need to detect sound and/or measure sound amplitude.
The SparkFun Sound Detector is a small and relatively easy to use audio sensing board with three different outputs. The Sound Detector not only provides an audio output, but also a binary indication of the presence of sound, and an analog representation of its amplitude. The 3 outputs are simultaneous and independent, so you can use as many or as few as you want at once.
This first demo that includes and arduino and the sound detector board, starts with simple “claps” in order to demonstrate the binary indication of sound. Note that that the LED changes color and an indication light goes on and off on the sound detector board.
The next demo uses a horn sound, the horn sound is more complex and an anolog representation of the sound is shown through the changing colors of the idea. As the amplitude of the sound changes so does the color.
The third demo creates feedback using the sound detectors audio out and generating feedback with the use of the mini amp.
This composition demonstrates how physical boundaries are easily broken and betrayed by sound’s ability to transcend consecutive time and solid structures, refracting time and space.
The journey begins on NYC subway platform where the particulate rhythms and melodies of the subway swarm with the notes and beats of subway musicians.* Once boarded and on the train, the ambient is quieted and encapsulated…until you are let off, far from the city, where the barren trees hold steady, absorbing a cold winter rain.
Suggestions for creating the best listening environment for this composition:
Many of the composition’s sonic textures will be lost if played through the tiny tinny speaker your computer or mobile device. The best way to listen is through headphones. It can be a challenge to capture the spatial qualities of a sound piece like this one through the rigid environment of computer and and mobile screens. I’d rather play it for you in a gallery space or even through your own sound system in your home, an environment that would allow the sound to travel through a quality speaker, then through space before arriving in your ears.
I’m experimenting with a Sparkfun mp3 player shield for Arduino, using it to prototype for a sound installation idea. In this prototype there are just simple push buttons, while the final installation is more likely to use sensing or more complex triggers. This prototype allows me to experiment with different sounds and on a small scale, get a sense of how sound transitions might work. For the speaker I’m using my old faithful Fender mini amp, love this little device! I use it routinely for prototyping. The video here demonstrates a setup of simple push button that trigger custom sounds stored on the sd card.
There are tutorials and libraries on the Sparkfun site and Github. I used this tutorial to get started.
Your Attention Please! Ignore this Message
When and Where:
Exhibited as part of Break It! Build It! at the Burlington City Arts Gallery, July 25, 2014 – September 13, 2014
This installation is inspired by an earlier work, the Firehouse Bell Project.
Despite major shifts in technology, bells continue to serve as cultural signifiers in the public square. A bell like the one atop this firehouse remains part of the built environment even though it no longer rings. Next door at City Hall a bell recording plays on the hour through an amplifier, no physical bell required. Scattered cell phone “bell” alerts dot the city soundscape ringing from pockets, bags and café tables.
Within the lifetime of current Burlington residents, civic bells like the Firehouse Bell communicated singular messages that found meaning in community, time and place.
By contrast in 2014 bells and alerts from personalized media sustain a persistent sonic layer of anytime–anyplace messages. While these messages are not meant for us they demand our attention.
Your Attention Please! Ignore this Message explores the cultural shift from public bells to private bells through Malcolm McCullough’s definition of the Ambient Commons. It is a reflection on how (and perhaps increasingly so) our sensory field comes from and refers to someplace else.
Ubiquitous cell phone alerts that reference bells were amplified in the gallery through ceiling speakers. Private alerts based on an individual’s schedule were played publicly. The installation Your Attention Please! Ignore this Message brings attention to the continued sounding of bells in the public square, despite major shifts in what we consider public and private and the blurring lines between the common digital and physical spaces we share.
This week’s Seven Days features the article “Meet Your Makers: Vermont hackers, artists and inventors are sharing ideas — and solving problems.” We were thrilled to be interviewed and are very grateful to Megan James for her excellent writing and to Matt Thorsen for the creative photography.
I’m currently working on a new installation “Sun Tracker” that will debut on Friday, June 22, 2012 as part of the Woodstock Digital Media Festival. Working with Jeff Branson of Denver, CO and Sam Stelfox of Burlington, a sound installation will be programmed based on the Earth/Sun relationship during the time of the summer solstice. We are using Cosm (previously known as Pachube) to keep track of the live feeds (from Colorado, Vermont and possibly California).
I met Jeff and Sam through Vermont Makers, and it’s been great to work with them. Jeff works with SparkFun out in Denver and Sam is a part of Lab B in Burlington. Along with Studio Ju Ju, Lab B has served as a workspace for this project, in fact we met there last week with Jeff (via google+ hangout).
I’ll document the project here as we move forward. In the meantime here’s a link to more Studio Ju Ju sound installations.
This ringtone awaits a name. Play the “Name that Ringtone Contest!” If you can’t see the player below, you can listen here.
This ringtone was named “Fairy Ray Gun” by MT. Thanks MT!
Join in, if you like, and play the “Name that Ringtone” contest. Can you think of a name for this ringtone?
This is really interesting and much needed exploration of sound art and sound art exhibition. The exhibition description says it explores “all” the possible ways of exhibiting and reading sound art – quite the overstatement! I think there will always be new ways to exhibit and understand sound art. In any case, great to see people out there ready to take the journey.
The exhibition Radio Arts Space constructs a gallery inside radio space, where Sound art and Radio art works are exhibited. It explores (many possible ways) of exhibiting and reading Radio and Sound art. The project is also complemented by an (international) platform for the discussion of meanings, contextualization, artistic research and the exchange of sound art works.
radioCona, produced by CONA, launched in 2008, is a platform that uses the radio frequency space in art contexts. FM frequency is understood as public space, explored from different perspectives and mediated through artworks audiobooks, programming and exhibitions. radioCona is intervention into public space.
When and Where:
Salon Pod traveled to cafés and small venues in Central and Northern Vermont in 2006. It was part of the South End Art Hop in 2005 and 2006.