Junkshop/steampunk social-network-enabled automatic music machine:
Cybraphon consists of a number of instruments, antique machinery, and found objects from junk shops operated by over 60 robotic components, all housed in a modified wardrobe. Its emotions are shown on a 100 year old school galvanometer; a motor-driven crank drives the bellows of an Indian classical instrument modified with 13 robotic servos; a switched fan pumps air through a Farfisa organ retro-fitted with robotic keys; 12 chimes are struck by suspended solenoids; numerous percussion instruments are hit by beaters attached to motors, including a cigar box with an integral spring “reverb”; and a purpose made vinyl record is cued robotically to play through antique brass gramophone horns. In addition to these musical components, Cybraphon has several internal light sources that are controlled on four fader channels, and infra-red motion detectors to monitor people watching it.
All these elements are controlled by a hidden computer via MIDI, DMX, and Arduino boards. And wire. Lots and lots of wire.
The computer runs custom software (coded in Python and MAX/MSP) to monitor the web and update Cybraphon’s emotions according to the rate at which its popularity is changing over time. All mentions of Cybraphon online that are indexed by Google are noted, as well as activity on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, Flickr, MySpace, and this very website. (cybraphon.com)
Via Grand Text Auto
I think the albums-as-applications concept will probably go a lot further than just a simple track-mixing app like this one by electronica artist Deadmau5, but this is definitely a step in the right direction.
Deadmau5’s iPhone app ($3 on iTunes) lets you load any of 10 quantized Deadmau5 tracks into its dual-track playback engine, which works pretty much like professional DJ software while being easy enough for anyone to experiment with.
You can change BPM, control up to four concurrent effects, skip to the next phrase or back to the last one, loop a phrase, and cross fade between the two tracks, or from one to the next. When some albums cost $18 on CD, a $3 album that includes the ability to remix it each time you listen seems like a pretty good deal. And since the tool is so easy to use, it lets anyone DJ a dance party by plugging their iPhone or iPod Touch into a stereo and letting ‘er rip. (wired epicenter)
(See RIAA, it’s all going to be all right… just a little less linear and with a lot less packaging to throw away.)
The Matryomin is a theremin-like electronic instrument encased (for reasons unknown) in a wooden Russian doll. From the description of the Matryomin on inventor and theremin player Masami Takeuchi‘s website:
Matryomin is the unique, original erectronic musical instrument invented by Masami Takeuchi in 1999. It is a type of theremin – oldest electro-musical instrument invented in Russia – shaped Russian traditional wooden doll, Matrioshka. It hold form of Matrioshka perfectly, moreover, performing five octaves range. The distance of 1 octave at Low-Middle range is equal to Etherwavetheremin of Moog Music Inc. If you have acquired the basic technique to play theremin by Etherwavetheremin, you can enjoy playing Matryomin by same way. Matryomin is only pitch controlled theremin. Mandarin Electron, a company directed by Masami Takeuchi, started manufacturing Matryomin on a commercial basis in 2003. Now, Matryomin is going on 2nd generation model. Selled over 1,600 till now in Japan. (mandarinelectron.com)