Sound Jewelry, networking with sound

Sound Jewlery

Merging music and mobile technology indicates promising future developments in a rapidly emerging field. The walkman, the mobile phone, and the iPod have already integrated music into users’ social and geographic erratic locations and they have also reshaped users’ urban landscape experience. With ad hoc networking, Internet connection, and context-awareness, mobile music technology offers countless new artistic, commercial and socio-cultural opportunities for creating, listening and sharing music. But which new forms of music interaction lie ahead in this context? Takuya Yamauchi, reasearcher at Keio University, with his professor Toru Iwatake, a well known electronic media composer, explores one of the possible paths with “Sound Jewlery”, a sound installation supported by spatial sensing system within a Personal Area Network (PAN). Presented as “An Interactive Musical Installation through Spatial Sensing”, the installation consists of an interactive sound system where all the participants hold a sensor in their hand (also wearable as a necklace, according to the title). Each sensor/participant has a peculiar sound that changes according to distance. Data are computed in real time reflecting changes and in the end producing two layers of sound. In the foreground layer, ‘melodies’ are dynamically generated measuring the distances between participants. In the background layer, ‘accompaniments’ are generated using the distance data and support the ambient environment. So users are finally able to originally experience the environment feeling the others’ presence differently, in a totally immersive music experience.

Valentina Culatti