Sonic Scrolls

Sonic Scrolls is an interactive installation. The user composes a sonic scroll using colors and shapes as musical notation, then controls the speed and direction of playback through the Scroll Singer. The colors Red, Green and Blue each represent a different musical instrument that plays a lower or higher tone depending on their placement on the scroll, and shape controls timbre.

Inspirations include by my ITP colleague Loui Foo, Daphne Oram’s Oramics, Golan Levin’s Scrapple, and the concept of synesthesia.

The first iteration worked off of a Max/MSP/Jitter patch by Blair Neal, who I found did a very similar project that informed my approach—thank you Blair! It took place at a workshop for kids age 7+ at Beam Center’s 2014 Inventgenuity Festival in January 2014. I designed a paper template for the sonic scrolls, and a laser cut piece of plexiglass to secure the webcam. 75 participants drew unique Sonic Scrolls over the course of the Inventgenuity Festival, and they each received a link to download the video/sound of their performance. Here is a short sampling of what we made:

I revamped the project for Luke DuBois’ Live Image Processing & Performance class, implementing computer vision to change the timbre of each synthesized voice based on the character of its corresponding shape.

In May 2014, the revamped openCV iteration of Sonic Scrolls was part of the 2014 ITP Spring Show. From Marina Galperina / Animal New York, May 21 2014:

Sonic Scrolls, via Marina Galperina / AnimalNY

In November 2014, Sonic Scrolls was installed for three weeks at Death By Art, the closing gallery for the beloved venue Death By Audio.