Thea Farhadian > Sensorized Violin for Live Performance

I’m very grateful for the generous technical and creative support from everyone at Steim during this residency.

I came to Steim with the prototype sensor Daniel Schorno built for me in 2008. Here, this hacked Wii acts as a sensor, with a USB attached to it, and interacts with my Max/MSP patch during live performance.

Sensor Thea Farhadian

Daniel started by integrating the Wii Controller with my Max patch via junXion. It is programmed to control the parameters of pitch, volume, and speed via the movements of my right arm and is activated via a button that sits on top of the violin bow. This button was removed and extended from the Wii and remounted on the bow, just a short bit above my right forefinger. In this way, it will be easy and smooth enough to turn the sensor on or off during live performance – so I can easily and spontaneously select to use the sensor —or not.

Daniel also built a patch so that I can use the other end of the Wii – the Nunchuck – to activate different pre-loaded sounds in my patch. While Daniel worked separately on this aspect programming, I worked on adding sound files to my Max patch. Toward the end of the week we had two of the buttons on the Nunchuck set up to scroll through and access my loaded samples.

Now this sensor is ready to go, and I am really excited about integrating this into my work.

Working with Daniel is great – besides being a fabulous programmer and instrument builder, he is also performing artist. So he understands the practical issues for a musician working with technology and the need for facilitating a smooth live performance.

I always appreciate the welcoming atmosphere at Steim. From talking music-business with Takuro Lippit, a conversation about velcro with Byungjun Kwon, and the support of Nico Bes and Esther Roschar. I was also glad to have the chance to meet Steim’s new Project Manager, Jonathan Reus.

Thanks to Steim for the time and resources for working on this project. It was a great week!

Thea Farhadian

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