Spatial-audio installation, wireless motion-reactive system based on ESP32 and Arduino, MaxMSP
Carnegie Mellon University
Six-part Galliard is a motion-reactive spatial-audio installation that augments the cardinal affordances of a domestic environment using a head-mounted wireless orientation sensor and MaxMSP.
Following the same auditory principles introduced by Cardiff's Forty Part Motet, this project explores how to distribute each one of the voices of the polyphonic renaissance dance The Earle of Essex Galliard published in 1605 by John Dowland in the different corners and scenes that surround our domestic environment. For that, I tracked my head's motion and absolute orientation assuming that in a single small domestic configuration, our attention to a specific scene inside such space can be ordinarily associated with our heading direction. The absolute heading is then translated to an audio map that outputs one generative soundscape to each location.
The wearable motion-sensing device uses an IMU Sensor and computing unit BNO080 9DoF, a rechargeable LiPo battery, and an ESP32 to send wirelessly the motion data via Bluetooth to the MaxMSP patcher.
This spatial system uses Dowland's music composition as a filter envelope in each of the six soundscape regions of the auditory map. When the listener gets closer to the center of a soundscape region, Dowland's galliard is more easily recognizable as a whistle obtained from the very same ambient noise that they were listening to an instant before. Similarly, if they want to retrieve a neutral state after exploring one specific voice, they only need to position their head straight to obtain an equally balanced mixing of the six soundscapes.