Using physical robots to play musical and experimental sequences is an innovative new direction for MIDI technology. Timo Preece of Planetary Cymatic Resonance put it to the test.
My project Planetary Cymatic Resonance was invited down to dadamachines’ headquarters shortly after the Kickstarter launch to play around with the toolkit and to put it to the test. My musical accomplice, Steffen Günther and I had a remarkably exuberant experience and deem it worthwhile to share the associated geeked-out, fun-filled findings with our readers.
Playing with robots is a cool feat in itself (I could dink around all day) but PCR fancied incorporating dadamachines in a plausible real world scenario that augmented what we already do: meditative-based real-time sound performance. For us, dadamachines we ascertained could be useful in contributing to a multi-sensory live experience in at least two distinct ways. First, because we are improvising our performance on the spot we are limited to the amount of things we can control at any given time. But wait, what if we had more robot hands playing with us?
Second, since our performances are sonically constructed by sampled and electronically generated sound sources, we strategized incorporating the musical robots to control acoustic instruments. This in turn would provide a beneficial layer of additional instrumentation as well as give our participants something visually captivating to focus on.
To fit what we do, Planetary Cymatic Resonance acquired and implemented acoustic instruments that included: a wave harp, a metal Klangauge, meditation bowls, a frame drum and a tambourine. Johannes quickly and skillfully attached and adjusted the mallets and striking components to fit the physical proportions and layout of these instruments.
As a memento of our robotic musical escapade, PCR put together a video and audio example for our readers’ viewing/listening pleasure. Designed as a meditative Gamelanesque composition, we’ve tuned the associated instruments to 136.1Hz and use the corresponding mathematically calculated pitch and tempo associated with the Earth’s yearly rotation cycle. The rhythmic patterns are prime number euclidean arrangements that constantly shape-shift, creating a sense of therapeutic relaxation.
Read the full review at Ask.Audio
Planetary Cymatic Resonance is an audio visual project focused on immersive realtime performance. Devoted to well-being and the resonant recalibration of people to their sonar origin, PCR creates a symbiosis between the sound of acoustic and synthesized instruments. Exploring both internal and external space alike, PCR is a cross pollination of musical expression, scientific calculation, modern technology and ancient wisdom.
At the heart of the collaboration, Berlin based duo Timo Preece and Steffen Günther promote mindfulness and inner awareness through improvised cinematic sound journeys. By transferring vibrating information into hearing range, PCR is able to sonify and perceptualize frequencies, like the movement of planets or the resonances of molecules, in ways participants are able to consciously and subconsciously resonate.
More dadamachines information: dadamachines.com