Interactive Music and Sound Art

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In 2001 I was commissioned by the Museum het Toreke in Belgium to create a musical installation for a retrospective exhibition of the work of Jan Mensaert, a local musician, poet and artist. They wanted it to be different and something that would draw people into the music. I came up with the idea of a multichannel installation. The concept behind the work was to create an interactive experience for museum visitors, which allowed them to mix the music.

I used DVD Audio technology, which plays full spectrum audio on each of the five channels. The video shows the development of the work and the interactive experience. The museum added the original work to their permanent collection. It was also accepted for exhibitions at Goldsmiths College in London, the SIGGRAPH ART Gallery, and the First Beijing International New Media Arts Exhibition. For these, I designed a small version of the piece using polished copper pipes with speakers in them and wooden cubes to conceal the speakers and provide a place to keep the balls used to interact with the piece.

It is difficult to compose music that can be listened to in real-time and have an infinite variety of mixes. Creatively, this poses a challenge that is not present in a live performance and expands my approach to making music and sound art.