An Instrument for the Sonification of Everday Things
by Dennis P Paul
This is a serious musical instrument. It rotates everyday things, scans their surfaces, and transforms them into audible frequencies. A variety of everyday objects can be mounted into the instrument. Their silhouettes define loops, melodies and rhythms. Thus mundane things are reinterpreted as musical notation. Playing the instrument is a mixture of practice, anticipation, and serendipity.
The instrument was built from aluminum tubes, white POM, black acrylic glass, a high precision distance measuring laser ( with the kind support of Micro-Epsilon ), a stepper motor, and a few bits and bobs.
A custom programmed translator and controller module, written in processing, transforms the measured distance values into audible frequencies, notes, and scales. It also precisely controls the stepper-motor’s speed to sync with other instruments and musicians.
Playing the Instrument is a mixture of practice, anticipation, and serendipity.