Press "Enter" to skip to content

Sound Meets Sculpture and Robotics – TECH+ART | Genius: Picasso

they say that every new technology has
some potential military application but
I’d like to think that most new
technologies seem to have musical
possibilities and applications also for
about 300 years the pipe organ was the
most complex thing that human beings
were making so it was the pinnacle of
the technology and if you were living in
the 1700s and he was some sort of genius
you couldn’t engineer microchips or
spacecraft but you could work on pipe
organs the type of art that I make
involves sound and it involves machinery
and I do both of those things together
because I’m really fascinated by this
experience where objects appear to have
this inner life the dervishes is the
name for a musical instrument it has 14
large spinning sort of wing like arms in
each arm has a corrugated plastic tube
on it and the tubes are of different
diameters and I cut them to different
lengths to – no they are big motors and
they have sensors on the back to show
exactly where their point in see we can
measure their position or their speed
and all that it’s hooked up to a big
stack of software that controls the
voltages going into the motors to bring
them to very very specific speeds at
certain levels of energy it will play in
different sort of modes one of them is
its fundamental mode where you have one
long sound wave that goes the whole
length of it and you go faster and it
will double up into two sounds like this
and you go a little faster and that will
go into three and they go on through
what they call the harmonic series so
when it comes to new sort of musical
expression there’s this constant churn
in human history about wanting to come
up with newer forms of music and newer
forms of expression this does this
desire to always be inventing but
oftentimes we’re also telling old truths
but we always want to say them in a new
way because the world around that music
from 500 years ago has changed so the
pyrrha phone I built because I wanted to
actually hear what a pyrrha phone sounds
like it’s a very very unusual instrument
but he didn’t invent it there are photos
of this beautiful instrument full of
glass tubes with a little keyboard
stately sort of portly man with a
handlebar moustache of course playing it
and I understand what the concept is he
has gas flames inside these tubes the
tubes are set to different lengths and
different diameters to help create
different timbres in different pitches a
similar to an organ on a smaller scale
except the thing that actually vibrates
in this case is the flame that is a very
different sound it’s sort of like if you
had a whale hunting for a death metal
the work that we were doing on it here
in my studio was to use robotic
technologies little stepper motors and
little measurements of that exactly how
far they’ve gone and carefully measure
the ranges in each tube and where the
Tambor’s change how you get different
harmonics at different heights and so
that’s a bunch of the new research so
what happens next is that we’re going to
have music that’s interactive and we’re
going to have music that is at least
partially if not completely generated by
artificial intelligences and it’s going
to exist in spaces that are somewhere
between the physical world that we live
in now and the virtual universe I hope
that music continues to play a really
powerful role in shaping society and in
how we figure out what is true and what’s meaningful
Please follow and like us: