Tuesday, January 19, 2016


I was checking out some music tech sites for instrument design inspiration and I stumbled upon an interactive sculpture made by Polish design firm panGenerator. The MICKEYPHON is inspired by Mickey Mouse and has an aesthetic that is definitely geared towards children. The device is paired with a Max MSP patch and uses hidden-microphones to record the sounds of the gallery and rhythmically chop and sequence them to a predefined tempo. The patch also uses localization techniques to turn the head towards the loudest sound source. Inside the MICKEYPHON is an LED matrix that displays hints on the looper's position and when the head is recording.

While this is more of a toy than an instrument, I think that panGenerator succeed in building a very interactive experience that calls on both physical and musical emotions. In my opinion, the MICKEYPHON's most interactive element is the process of localizing the loudest sound source and turning it's head towards it. I found this to be a very human response for a machine to have. It not only informs the audience member that they have been detected, but it encourages them to produce sounds that will then be intertwined with other's later. I could easily see this kind of "interactive sculpture" being used in a school or hospital setting.

MICKEYPHON - kinetic av sculpture created for Disney from ◥ panGenerator on Vimeo.

No comments :

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.