What I’m building: Ganglia

Yes, I know there is a network monitoring project called Ganglia. That’s not this. Move along now.

I’ve dreamed about building this for about 20 years now (see earlier post). It’s a musical/sound sculpture instrument that consists of 10-20 noise makers distributed around a room. Many of them will have the ability to play back audio samples, but other will have the ability to physically make noise.

I’m thinking stepper motors, solenoids and relays as a start for the physical aspects. I am not planning on trying to trigger actual musical instruments but instead try and use the natural sound of the device.

It’s all controlled by a central machine that generates the composition. My first attempt is going to be strictly prescriptive where I compose the piece beforehand and play it back. I’m curious about some of the generative and reactive libraries but I worry about it not being something I like.

I also need to compose a piece that works for my brain. I have a migraine disorder and lots of loud noise hurts. So one of my experiments is how to effectively use dead space without boring the listener.

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