Soundworks Nü

The objective of the framework is to give composers control over the speakers of spectators smartphones during a performance. Connecting their devices to a webpage broadcasted by the performer’s laptop, spectators become part of the composition: from simple sound sources to active musicians. The performer can then control the behaviours of Nü modules via a Max/MSP based interface: modular units (distributed room reverb, granular synthesis, etc.) designed for live composition.

🔗  on GitHub


Architecture of the Nü framework

Hack the Audience @ MTF Berlin

CoSiMa participated at the Music Tech Fest in Berlin with a workshop « Hack the Audience » featuring the Soundworks framework. In two days, mai 26 and 27, we developed two performances in which the audience participates with their smartphones : MTF Orgy and GrainField. In both performances, the audience connects their smartphones to the CoSiMa Wi-Fi network and visits a given webpage to participate.

In MTF Orgy, each participant controls the intensity and detuning of two harmonics of a distributed additive synthesizer – the Orgy organ – by tilting their smartphone. The lower harmonics are generated on the PA and the higher ones on the participant’s mobile devices. A musician on stage plays chords on a MIDI keyboard that determine the fundamental frequencies. Other musicians can join the performance. At the MTF performance, we were accompanied by Steve Lawson on the bass.

In GrainField the smartphones enable the participants to play with the granular synthesis of 2 secs of sound recorded from a percussionist sitting in the middle of the audience (see images below). The system records every second 2 secs of sound that are send to the smartphones of the audience so that the sound a participant plays with changes every 8 seconds. The sound generated by the participant’s smartphones can be perceived as a distributed granular echo of the percussionist’s performance without any other amplification.

In addition, we presented the CoSiMa project in a brief talk and performance with the audience playing birds and drops on their smartphones.

 

Electrosound @ EDF Foundation

CoSiMa is represented in the Electrosound exhibition at the EDF Foundation with two small installations. One documents the participative concert Chloé ⨉ Ircam and the other is a downscaled version of Collective Loops.

The installation that refers to the participative concert we created with Chloé, is based on the same technical setup and music track as the Terminal installation and features 14 wall mounted smartphones. As in the concert and the Terminal installation, the public can connect to the installation to participate using their mobile devices.

electrosound-chloe-x-ircam

Collective Loops is shown in a reduced version with eight smartphones mounted on desk and a screen that replaces the floor projection.

electrosound-collective-loops

The exhibition also included the MO – Musical Objects that have been developed in the framework of one of CoSiMa’s predecessor projects, Interlude.

electrosound-interlude-mo

CoSiMa in « Le Future de la Musique »

The participative concert Chloé ⨉ Ircam and the interactive installation Terminal, both created in the framework of CoSiMa, have been presented in the documentary « Le Future de la Musique » on the television program PLANÈTE+. The documentary includes interviews with Chloé and Norbert Schnell as well as footage from a working session with Chloé and Ircam’s CoSiMa team in a studio at Ircam.

Here is the trailer of the episode that features the CoSiMa projects :

Workshop « Smartphones and Movement » @ ENSCI – Les Ateliers

In collaboration with, Joël Chevrier (professor of physics at the Grenoble Alpes University), Anne Dubos (anthropologist and transmedia artist), Loïc Lobet (designer), and Florent Deloison (artist and developper), we proposed a two-week workshop on Smartphones and Movement at the ENSCI – Les Ateliers design school.

The workshop united a group of about twenty students who worked in small groups on the design of different projets including performances, installations, and gadgets involving smartphones in motion, as well as concepts of controlling common smartphone applications through movements.

Here are some of the projets developed during the workshop.

Physical Player

Physical Player is a performance for three performers wearing mobile devices on their arm. The performers move in a large space interpreting trajectories and symbols marked on the floor. Their motion induces events and changes of sound and music environment rendered through loudspeakers distributed in the space. The mobile devices analyse the performers’ movements distinguishing different states like standing still, walking, running (fast and slow), jumping, and somersault to control three different tracks of an interactive audio player.

Sorcières

Sorcières is a performance that integrates some of the interactive web audio applications we created at the beginning the CoSiMa project (see apps.cosima.ircam.fr/checks). During the performance, the performers invite the public to join their choreography and to produce sound with their smartphones.

Le petit avion

The project The Little Plane transforms a smartphone into a toy that makes sound when it is moved. In addition, the toy can analyse and display the motion data trajectories and can communicate them to a public display. Obviously, the plane could be a car, a boat, a train or anything else that makes sound when it moves.

Scorpion

The Scorpion web application transforms subtile motion and vibrations into sound. The applications has been used by the students to create a tactile sound installation.

The application has also been used in « L’Atelier tactile », a playground for little children created by Marion Voillot. In this scenario, the children search – by carefully touching and listening – for objects (i.e. mobile devices) that generate sound and light hidden in fabrics of different textures embedded into a wooden structure.

🔗 Good Vibrations (3/3) : Le Smartphone et le Scorpion (article on the Scorpion project in French)

Interactive Storytelling

Another follow-up project of the ENSCI workshop was an application dedicated to little children created in collaboration with Marion Voillot. The application supports a scenario of storytelling where children accompany different parts of a story with different gestures that are translated into sound by smartphones they hold in their hands. The movements and sounds evoke actions and motion that occur in the story (i.e. swimming, wading trough water, pushing aside the scrub, wind over a meadow, storm) and where chosen to stimulate the children’s imagination, but also to reinforce coordination, memory, and listening.

🔗 Le jeune enfant, le numérique et l’école demain (article by Marion Voillot on her exploration of digital technology for little children)

Overexposure / Surexposition v.2

An interactive public installation with smartphones, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, February 2016

Surexposition/Overexposure (v.2) is an interactive work bringing together a public installation and a smart phone application. On an urban square, a large black monolith projects an intense beam of white light into the sky. Visible all over the city, the beam turns off and on, pulsating in way that communicates rigor, a will to communicate, even if we don’t immediately understand the signals it is producing. On one side of the monolith, white dots and dashes scroll past, from the bottom up, marking the installation with their rhythm: each time one reaches the top of the monolith, the light goes off, as if the marks were emptying into the light. On a completely different scale, we see the same marks scrolling across the smartphone screens of the people in attendance, interacting with the work, following the same rhythm. Here, it is the flash of the smartphones that releases light in accordance with the coded language. Returning to the very essence of Morse, the messages are then transformed into a sound composition, broadcast by the installation, as well as by the public’s smartphones. Because these are in fact messages that are being sent—in Morse code, from everyone, to everyone and to the sky—and that we can read thanks to the super-titling that accompanies the marks. Using a smartphone, anyone can send a message, saying what they think and therefore presenting themselves, for a few moments, to everyone, to a community sharing the same time, the same rhythm. And we can take the pulse of an even larger community—on the scale of the city and in real time—through a map of mobile phone network use, projected onto the ground or visualized via smartphone.

From an individual device (smartphone) the size of a hand to a shared format on the scale of the city, a momentary community forms and transforms, sharing a space, a pace, the same data, following a type of communication whose ability to bring together through a sensory experience is more important than the meaning of the messages it transmits or their destination, which is lost in the sky.


(Photos: Samuel Bianchini)

Credits
An Orange/EnsadLab (the laboratory of the École Nnationale supérieure Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs, PSL Research University) project under the direction of Samuel Bianchini

in collaboration with Dominique Cunin (EnsadLab), Catherine Ramus (Orange Labs) and Marc Brice (Orange Labs), in the framework of a research partnership with Orange Labs, and Roland Cahen (sound design).

“Orange/EnsadLab” partnership directors: Armelle Pasco, Director of Cultural and Institutional Partnerships, Orange and Emmanuel Mahé, Head of Research, EnsAD

Project Manager (Orange): Abla Benmiloud-Faucher
IT Development (EnsadLab): Dominique Cunin, Oussama Mubarak, Jonathan Tanant
Graphic Design: Alexandre Dechosal (EnsadLab)
Sound Design: Roland Cahen
Sound engine development: Norbert Schnell (Ircam)
Voice samples recorded by choristers from Jazzalam
Lighting, Video Mapping and construction of the installation structure: idscènes
Mobile network data supply: Orange Flux Vision
Mobile network data processing: Cezary Ziemlicki (Orange)
SMS Server Development: Orange Applications for Business
Technical Assistant: Alexandre Saunier (EnsadLab)
Production Assistant: Élodie Tincq

Production: Orange
Executive Production: EnsadLab

The research and development for this work were carried out in association with the research project Cosima (“Collaborative Situated Media”), coordinated by Ircam and sponsored by the Agence nationale de la recherche (ANR) and participate in the development of Mobilizing.js (http://www.mobilizing-js.net), a programming environment for mobile screens, conceived by EnsadLab, aimed at artists and designers.
This version of Surexposition benefits from a partnership with idscènes and Ircam under the aegis of the Cosima project.

Collective Loops @ Forum Workshops

A second version of the Collective Loops installation has been shown during the Ircam Forum Workshops on November 25 and 26, 2015.

The installation features a collaborative version of a step sequencer that uses the visitor’s smartphones to produce sound. The sequencer is graphically represented by a circle of 8 sectors projected on the floor. The sectors light up in a clockwise motion following the beats of the sequence.

When the players connect to the installation through a web page, they choose an available sector, and thus, their step in the loop. The players can control the sounds (i.e. notes in a melody or bass line and percussion sounds) that are played on their smartphone at the corresponding beat of the sequence through a simple graphical interface on their smartphones. The selected sounds are also displayed in the corresponding sector of the circle on the floor.

Positioned around the circle, the players collaborate on creating melodies and rhythm patterns rendered through their smartphones.

The application uses a first complete version of the CoSiMa platform entirely based on web standards.

Design and development :
Ircam: Norbert Schnell, Jean-Philippe Lambert, Benjamin Matuszewski, Sebastien Robaszkiewicz
Orbe: Xavier Boissarie, Florent Dubois, Gregory Cieslik, Tomek Jarolim, Quentin Levigneron
EnsadLab: Samuel Bianchini, Dominique Cunin, Oussama Mubarak, Jonathan Tanant
ID Scènes: Christophe Aubry, Fabrice Auchere
NoDesign: Jean-Louis Frechin, Uroš Petrevski
ESBA TALM: Christophe Domino

Terminal @ Paris Musique Club

Terminal is an interactive installation that has been created in collaboration with Chloé and the Scale collective for the Paris Musique Club. The installation will be shown from October 24, 2015 to January 31, 2016 at the Gaité Lyrique.

The project transposes the musical elements and mobile interactions of the Chloé ⨉ Ircam concert into the situation of an exhibition.
The installation features a looped 15-minutes 4-channel music track staged in a 7-meters corridor with 21 smartphones aligned along the wall and luminous lines running on the floor.

Similar as in the concert, visitors can connect to the installation with their mobile devices to participate. At given passages of the music track, the participants are invited to play sound with touch and motion interfaces that appear on their mobile device. The graphical animations and sound of their device are echoed by one of the smartphones on the wall.

guiro-interfaces

Every now and then, waves of sound textures appear on the participants’ mobile devices. In addition, visitors can use a wall-mounted tablet to distribute sound textures over the smartphones on the wall. The light on the floor reacts on the music as well as the visitors’ interactions with the tablet.

Chloé × Ircam @ Nuit Blanche 2015

We did it again. After the Fete de la musique, the Chloe × Ircam concert came to the Nuit Blanche at the Gaïté Lyrique invited by I Love Transmedia.

This video summarizes the concert from a rather technical point of view.

Like at the Fete de la musique, the audience participates in this concert by connecting their smartphones to the local Wi-Fi network Chloe × Ircam and by opening the web page chloe.ircam.fr in their browser. Once connected, the participants are asked to indicate their approximate position on map of the concert space. During the concert, Chloé can move sounds over the audience’s smartphones – using four tablets integrated into her setting – and let appear dedicated sound interfaces on the touchscreens. The concert starts and ends with everybody playing with Chloé’s whispering voice.

More images of the concert are published on Chloé’s web site.