Particle, electromagnetic music interface


Kanta Horio’s musical interface, ‘Particle,’ was designed to be a self generative sound-producing unit. The experimental sound artist thought it would be interesting, “to play with a bit of an uncontrollable interface- and the accompanying sounds that would be produced.” With nine electromagnets wired and built into a wooden board, the Particle is set on a table and connected to a PC computer from which the directional currents for each electromagnet are controlled. The software program, semi-controlled by Kanta, then actuates the magnets at random. The sounds we actually here are from paperclips that are arbitrarily misshaped or snipped into shorter segments and placed on the surface. They then begin to twitch and pivot as they produce sound. To actualize the sounds Horio uses a Piezo pickup to act as a microphone to detect the smaller vibrations. When in use, the Particle produces an orchestral ticking with a persistently fervent rhythm and detectable variations in frequency.

Vicente Gutierrez