The Bilgi Interactive Sound Project of Istanbul Bilgi University attended to a 5 day long workshop on custom built musical interfaces with JunXion Board. The group consists of Batuhan Bozkurt, Pinar Temiz, Ulas Pakkan, Ozan Sarier and Ali Bilgin Arslan as well as the project supervisor from the faculty, composer Dirk Stromberg. The group members got into soldering and building sensors for the JunXion board in order to create personalized custom interfaces which would be used as performance tools.
The soldering job was a novelty for most of the participants. During the course of individually building the Junxion board, which can be acquired also as read-made, made it possible to be involved in the process of artistic creation from scratch and helped to form a stronger connection with the artist and the tool, which is a radical thing to do, considering the commercially available musical interfaces.
A popular tool for the participants were the photosensors. The possibility of interacting with the computer by the manipulation of light surely was interesting and these sensors were built into almost all of the boards. Regular types of sensors, like faders and knobs were also used to a certain extent. But overall, the interactive quality of the photosensors were the focus of the custom interfaces of almost every participant.
Batuhan Bozkurt’s JunXion interface was connected to one of his instrument in PureData. The patch was utilizing feedbacks with certain control mechanisms to create highly dynamic and rich sonic textures. Ulas Pakkan, having a background as a drummer, used also a custom built patch in PureData which focuses on certain rhythmical concepts and controlled it by the combination of both a commercially available interface and JunXion board. Ozan Sarier, used an often-visited technique of sample manipulation and mainly focused on the ergonomicity of his sensors.
Ali Bilgin Arslan and Pinar Temiz focused on new synthesis techniques, namely pulsar synthesis and vector synthesis with the synthesizers they specially built with Max/MSP, while exploring the possibilities of custom interfaces in music making. These projects were strictly limited to Junxion’s capabilites as a challenge. Pulsar synthesis, a relatively uncommon form compared to the granular synthesis, proved to be very competend in creating diverse organic textures with the help of an efficient control mechanism.
Although the title suggested that the workshop would be basically soldering parts together, the actual meetings differed a great deal from a merely technical workshop as the participants were (mostly) music students as well as instrumentalists and aiming to gain a new understanding in terms of freedom in performance.
The presentation of projects showed that sensor data may have different characteristics but in essence they are, by themselves, predictable and mostly lawful to the limit of dullness. Therefore the linearity of the unprocessed sensor data, at least to a certain extent in musical creation, should be transformed into a more dynamic and context-related form.
Junxion Board Manual
Pull up/pull down resistor
Photoresistor/Photocell/Light Dependent Sensors (LDR)