jonathan sparks invents loop-based instrument using color and gesture
 
jonathan sparks invents loop-based instrument using color and gesture
jul 08, 2014

jonathan sparks invents loop-based instrument using color and gesture

jonathan sparks invents loop-based instrument using color and gesture
all images courtesy of jonathan sparks

 

 

 

‘nomis’ is a musical instrument by jonathan sparks that reinvents the way that producers and artists interact with MIDI boards. using a combination of arduino, max MSP, and ableton live, the device is able to loop and display melodies that help construct the creative process. MIDI sounds are played and repeated to pass across the machine as a way of illustrating how songs are created and how they fit within an overall composition. the sequence of events begins with the musician selecting which notes from his repertoire he would like to use. afterwards, they are displayed through the first of two polychromatic light towers, indicating that they are available to be played from the polyphonic octagonal interface in the middle made of black and frosted plexiglass. the interior edge of the construct allows the composer to play the individual tones of his or her choosing. as the interface is spun counterclockwise, the loops are then transferred through to the second tower where each set can be turned off and on again to create a dynamic harmony.

 


video courtesy of jonathan sparks

 

 

 

‘loop based music is a powerful way for an individual musician to create a complex, multi-voiced composition by looping and layering melodies in real time. the devices that make it possible to achieve this are powerful, but often lack the expressiveness and clarity that make for compelling live performances. ‘nomis’ is an attempt to get that looping capability up off of the floor, out from behind the laptop, and feature it in an instructive and stimulating way.’ – jonathan sparks

jonathan sparks nomis midi instrument color gesture
the device uses the large gesture of spinning the whole octagon interface to set loops

jonathan sparks nomis midi instrument color gesture
arranging the notes of a scale in the shape of an octagon creates interesting gestures when playing chords

jonathan sparks nomis midi instrument color gesture
the instrument tower to the left selects the color and sound the octagon interface will play

jonathan sparks nomis midi instrument color gesture
spinning the octagon sets the loop and flashes white to indicate the change 

jonathan sparks nomis midi instrument color gesture
setup for a live performance 

jonathan sparks nomis midi instrument color gesture
the perfomance interface is polyphonic

jonathan sparks nomis midi instrument color gesture
the loop tower to the right displays flashing lights corresponding to the sound and melody they represent

jonathan sparks nomis midi instrument color gesture
octagon interface and instrument tower in blue 

jonathan sparks nomis midi instrument color gesture
interesting gestures are created from playing chords

jonathan sparks nomis midi instrument color gesture
nomis in regular lighting, made from black and frosted white plexiglass

 

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

  • this is beautiful 😀

    HanB

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