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This instrument comprises two silver globes across which are arranged ten light sensors on each. Spacings between sensors are designed to correspond to finger width. The globes were originally Christmas tree decorations that were discovered discarded at the side of the road.

This instrument is played by applying varying pressure to the ten pressure sensitive pads.

This instrument is played by applying varying pressure to the ten pressure sensitive pads.


Cipher presents visitors with a board with an 8 x 8 grid of holes into which decorative marbles provided can be placed. Setting a marble in a hole initiates a sound idea that will continue for several minutes, gradually decaying, unless the marble is first removed. Setting another marble into another hole on the same vertical or horizontal axis as the first will, as well as triggering a new sound idea associated with that hole, cause some form of sonic transformation upon the first sound idea (if it is still active). The design of the piece suggests a puzzle or strategy game and in some ways the piece is both a puzzle and a game but there is no solution (or perhaps it could be considered that there are many solutions) and there is no winner. Strategy is advanced only through listening, the visual and physical side of the piece serves only as an impression of the current musical state of the piece.


The movement of a pendulum is tracked by a spiral of 64 sensors. When the pendulum passes above a sensor, a sound unique to that sensor is triggered. As the pendulum tracks to and fro, repeating sequences of notes are revealed, but these motifs are in a constant state of change. As the pendulum slows, the time gap between sound events lengthens (the sounds also become softer). As the range of the pendulum's movement decays, sound events are lost from the sequence but new sound events can also be gained as the circling movement of the pendulum contracts to include sensors closer to the centre of the spiral.
The sounds heard in this incarnation of the Pendulum are of a prepared classical guitar.

Light Sensor Box
A circle of light sensors react when light is blocked from reaching them. In this movie several sound producing programs written for this instrument are demonstrated. The design is intended to allow several people to interact with the device from different angles simultaneously.


Laser Wheel
A circle of laser beams acts as virtual strings, each triggering a unique sound when plucked. Strings are velocity sensitive, responding through sound intensity and tone to the speed with which the hand is moved through them. Notes can also be damped by holding the hand within the beam. A smoke machine or hazer would make the beams visible, in the absence of either of these I hold a smouldering piece of paper in a beam towards the end of the movie reveal a beam.
Currently only the outer ring of sixteen lasers has been installed but the holes where the remaining 48 lasers will be installed in three increasingly small concentric rings, are just about visible. This arrangment will result in sixteen groups of four lasers. The sounds in this demonstration are of a prepared piano. As with the light box, the design is intended to allow several people to interact with the device from different angles simultaneously.


The Kugel tracks rotational movement of the ball and transmits the data to a laptop which interprets the movement as sound gestures. Both orientation and speed of rotation are tracked. Orientation tranlates to what particular sounds will be played back. Speed of rotation is interpreted as loudness and brightness of tone. This instrument is intended to deny the player the ability determine its playing characteristics visually, instead musical control is achieved through conceptual manipulation of the object in 3-d space. The Kugel has no top, bottom, left nor right therefore the array of sounds contained within it has no beginning, middle nor end, as might have been determined by any visual organisation.


Some general purpose devices that I have made.

Sensor Box
Used to interface sensors with a computer via MIDI. Sensors are connected using 1/4" TRS connectors according to the standard T (tip) for 5 volts, R (ring) for the sensor voltage and S (screen) for ground. See DIY for ideas about sensors.

Slider Box
A basic 16 slider MIDI controller box. Doepfer and Peavey used to make devices similar to this but they are out of production now. Modern equivalents such as those by Korg tend to use very short, low quality sliders.

Slider/Sensor Box
A combination of the sensor box and the slider box. Normally this functions as a basic slider box but sensors can be connected to the 1/4" jack sockets which will then interrupt the slider functionality for that channel.
Connection to a computer can be either via traditional 5 pin MIDI or via USB, thereby negating the need for a MIDI interface.

Giant Gamepad
This one is a bit more specialised and was intended to act as a more conspicuous gamepad controller (and to also fucntion as one) for a public installation.