Frank Mauceri > Instrument Lab #1 – Project Swarm


Before arriving at the STEIM Instrument Lab, I had been developing flocking algorithms to control granular sound synthesis. I came to STEIM hoping to explore options for introducing interactivity to this system.  I regularly perform as a saxophonist and use digital media in performance; this was a clear starting point for developing an interactive instrument to use with my generative algorithms.
The Instrument Lab workshops surveyed a variety of interactive systems with hands-on sessions introducing circuit building, the Arduino microprocessor board, and STEIM’s powerful JunXion and LiSa software.  STEIM staff and visitors shared a range of knowledge and experience. As broad as this exposure was, it helped in formulating specific solutions for mapping acoustic input into my flocking simulations.  For example, issues of sensor mapping and scaling are elegantly addressed by JunXion. I also became interested in incorporating wireless accelerometers (also STEIM tech) into my saxophone rig.  Lots of new work ahead – thanks STEIM!
Also many thanks to my fellow participants.  The generosity and encouragement of artists experimenting together is the real interactive technology. These connections, collaborations and friendships will last far longer than the solder joints on our lab circuit boards. We celebrated our week at STEIM together with an interactive jam session. Selected audio can be heard at the Soundcloud link below:
Jam Session Audio

Analog alchemy – Peter Edwards
Sampling slight of hand – Sinan Kestelli
Video Macramé – Jamie Griffiths
Percussive punctuation – Ben Bacon
Witnesses and documentation – Elizabeth Doering, Michael McLoughlin, and David Collier.

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