At last weekends’ TIK festival I did the solarsoundmodule workshop. One of the most inspiring things in years for me. The little ‘creatures‘ create a minimal sound through a simple circuit using only solar power. It combines a couple of things that I’m very interested in at the moment:
- Low energy use: a little solar panel powers the circuit. The light variability influences the sound it makes
- Soft sounds: I’ve been thinking for some time about a way to create whispering sounds to reinforce silence. The piezo speakers give off a very pure, crisp sound.
- A workshop format: doing workshops is a way I would like to earn some money. The easy technical way they set up this workshop is very inspiring.
This is my sound creature with the circuit drawing:
Together with Richard we worked on the real-time sound synthesis using Csounds. Richard is an experienced musician and also a programmer. He’s creating an interface in Python for working with Csounds.
We had to know how long the sounds should be to create a breath soundscape. On the internet we found that the average breath rate is between 12 and 20 breath cycles per minute. My average breath rate is 6 per minute and when I’m very calm it is 3 per minute:
To be on the safe side we also recorded Richards’ breathing pattern which was indeed more towards the average:
On Richards’ graph we also printed the temperature values (the yellow line) which is good for indicating breathing in and out.
From the very start I had the idea to do something with the sound of bamboo wind chimes. I like their soothing sound when the wind makes them bang together. The idea was to create a chime from our breaths. As we started experimenting with the Csounds bamboo file (which is just code by the way) unexpected and fascinating sounds came out: