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Design and media art projects.

Mysoundworld.com

"[T] first thing an electronic composer does is build a set of instruments, a soundworld." -- Brian Eno

"If this word, music, is sacred and reserved for eighteenth- and nineteenth-century instruments, we can substitute a more meaningful term: organization of sound." -- John Cage

Mysoundworld.com was a minimalist forward-thinking website that allows people to create profiles and upload sound, music, and anything in between. It tries to break out of the mold of bands and albums and instead focuses on individual people and projects. Projects can be ongoing (such as a series) or complete (such as an album). The name might communicate the idea; A "Sound World", or "Worldview in Sound", is one's relationship to the world of sound around them.

It turns out that right around the same time Sound Cloud was being developed. There is a lot of synchronicity between mysoundworld.com and what Sound Cloud would become. For example, both sites were designed to show the waveform.

Unfortunately, mysoundworld.com never made it past the design and prototype stage. It is a lesson in the synchronicity of ideas and how if you have a good idea, someone else probably has the same idea.

Materials: Internet technologies
December 2009

ARTUBE

ARTUBE.us is public access arts television for the internet. Channels are programmed by artists with the hope to share a diverse cultural mix. The different artists are chosen for their unique perspectives they can contribute to the ARTUBE station. The videos are played relative to a constant clock on the ARTUBE server. This simulates the experience of watching television where the viewer cannot skip over content. We believe that sometimes a video is worth watching all the way through even if it does not seem worthy. If the viewer really does not want to watch something, he/she can change the channel. All of ARTUBE's content is streamed from YouTube®. This was a collaboration with Gleb Denisov.

Link: https://artube.us
Materials: Flash, YouTube API

March 2009

Myoo-Zick

Myoo-Zick is a music app for kids. It allows for drag-and-drop creation of music and encourages playfulness and experimentation.

This is a video demonstrating the core functionality and musical capabilities of Myoo-Zick version 1, a music composing program for children. Myoo-Zick is pronounced however you can read it, but it sounds sort-of like "music".


Original idea

A musical sequencer / composer / performer / programmer.

It can be both deterministic and aleatoric.
It can also be automatic with respect to musical rules or theory.

I imagine it as a sort-of Scratch meets Max meets Electro Plankton meets Experiments in Musical Intelligence (EMI) meets Ableton Live.

The intention is to create an easy-to-use application for experimenting with and learning about electronic music composition. The interface also encourages eccentric thinking.

The interface will consist of a palette of musical modules and a canvas. There will be three types of modules: generators, modifiers, and outputs. These will lock into place so that no mistakes can be made. They can be modified or interacted with in real-time to effectively compose. Compositions can be saved and reloaded. Finally, there will be global settings for scale and tempo.

See Original Storyboard: http://classes.dma.ucla.edu/Winter09/152A/projects/richardcaceres/Richard%20Caceres%20-Projectstoryboard.PDF


Download: Download Link
Materials: Processing
March 2009

Dynamic non-looping plasma

Processing implementation of a plasma field that does not use a look-up table for sin values.

Plasma is a computer graphics trick. It is made by cycling through per-calculated sums of sin values. It was popular in hacker demoz and cracktroz. The effect appears psychedelic, which is reminiscent of the relationship between computers and altered states of mind.

This video is a render of 900 frames (5 min) of a plasma program.

This is based code by Lode Vandevenne, which can be found at http://student.kuleuven.be/~m0216922/CG/plasma.html

Materials: Processing
November 2008

Sliding Doors

I lived in a dining room for two years. For the second year, I decided to upgrade my curtain and design a more substantial living boundary. These doors are influenced from japanese Fusuma, or sliding doors (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fusuma). Another constraint was to make them not do any damage to the property we were renting. The doors ended up being so custom tailored, that they stayed up for the entire year with only friction and a few pieces

September 2008

NES MIDI Interface

As a kid growing up, my favorite video games were multiplayer games. Having spent so much time playing them, it is no surprise that I still desire multiplayer experiences. This NES controller to MIDI converter is another exploration of the connections between sound/music and play/games. It is an interface for sonic collaboration and entertainment.

The device was exhibited at the UCLA Design Media Arts Undergraduate Exhibition in 2008.

When performed solo the interaction takes on a whole new direction. The performer finds ways to use all the controllers at once. This can be done with the feet, elbows, palms, head, etc.

The controllers as instruments can be used to trigger anything from sonic explosions to calm meditation.

Two arpeggiated mbiras with kettle noises and door squeaks:
http://richard-c.com/touch/nes-midi/NES MBIRA ARP KETTLE NOISE.mp3

Improvisational duet with melodious second half:
http://richard-c.com/touch/nes-midi/NES With Madre Edited.mp3

Noisy upright bass and kitchen noises:
http://richard-c.com/touch/nes-midi/NES improv 2 for Video.mp3

Materials: Custom electronics, Arduino, Nintendo controllers, MIDI, Audio
August 2008

At one point I was in a experimental trio with musicians Cynthia Payne and Leaf Tine. We would get together and play experimental music over Internet 2 with Stanford CCRMA and Rensselaer. Leaf's primary instruments were a circuit bent keyboard, amplified rocks, and a joystick synthesizer, which I was always envious of.

Since I am now acquainted with electronics, I created my own joystick synthesizer. It is a modified pc joystick with a built-in square wave oscillator and lowpass filter. It is an excellent sound source to use on its own or feed into effects. I have posted the schematic and parts list so that you can build your own (I take no responsibility for damage you cause to your speaker or yourself ... etc)!

Sound exploration with Joy Stick routed through effects: http://richard-c.com/touch/joystick/JOYSTICK-DEMO.mp3

Demo Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6c_lH52834
Schematic: Schematic
Parts List: Parts List

June 2009

This is a musical pachinko machine. It is a sequencer that allows you to compose music with a certain amount of indeterminacy or chance. When you press the space bar, a ball is launched from the top with a random direction and velocity. You can also launch balls at the mouse position by pressing shift. You can assign samples to the pins with the three rows of the keyboard - Q-Y for sound-set 1, A-H for sound-set 2, and Z-N for sound-set 3. There are two versions of the program. The first one uses a built-in sound library that has four sound-sets - Casio Sk-1 drums, Rubber Bands, Glockenspiel, and Mbira. The other version uses the OPEN-SOUND-CONTROL communication protocol to trigger sounds in an external application. Use it here. See documentation video here (youtube).

Live Demo!: Demo
Video Demo: http://youtube.com/watch?v=ATo6-rCtjLg
Download SWF: http://richard-c.com/touch/flash/com.richard-c.pachinko.zip

May 2008

Photokoto

"The Photo Koto is a musical instrument that plays the sounds of a city. Resembling the Japanese koto, the instrument has 48 photo sensors are mounted in along its length. Each one triggers a different sound, collected in Los Angeles along the path of the Metro Red line. The sounds are arranged spatially along the instrument. With each sample, the small scale beauty scattered through Los Angeles is simultaneously collected and revealed, and when played and combined a new soundscapes emerge. The piece was recently on display at the 2009 Design | Media Arts undergraduate exhibition." - Patrick Tierney

The photokoto was made in collaboration with Patrick Tierney.

Video: https://vimeo.com/3950103
Materials: Custom Fabrication, Arduino, Midi, 48 photo sensors

April 2008

ZYO-HA-KYU

HARMONY - multiple sounds being noticed at the same time - John Cage

Zyo-Ha-Kyu is a game for musical meditation. 1 player controls an abstract virtual world which generates a musical score as a side effect. 3 players play this musical score on pseudo-spiritual instruments. The "performance" of these players feeds back into player 1's world. If everyone does everything right, then the game will end with silence.

Demonstration Video

This video tries to make it easier to understand what is happening. There is also some audio to give an idea of what the game sounds like.

Performance Video

This video documents the only live performance. Unfortunately there was a camera malfunction and the video appears choppy. Nonetheless, it gives a rough idea of what Zyo-Ha-Kyu is like in a live performance.

Liner Notes

ZYO - introduction HA - development or exposition KYU - rushing to the end ∞ The system. A system for cooperative musical mediation for three students and one teacher. A system for spontaneous musical composition and performance for three musicians and one composer. This system is made up of three main components. The first is an interface for composing music. This composition is fed in realtime to the second component which is a visualizer of this composition. This dynamic musical score will be played on the third component, which is a set of real musical instruments/sound makers. The performance by the musicians affects the composer. The goal is to meditate and clear your mind. The system is realized in Processing/Java, and Actionscript 3. The musical instruments are interfaced with an Arduino board. The two applications communicate with OSC (Open Sound Control) with a FLOSC (http://benchun.net/flosc/). ////////////////////// ∞ The Five Natural Elements: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, Water. Everything in the Universe is said to be created from the five elements, and all change is caused by changes in the power of these elements. The seasons, directions, nations, colors, and other phenomena are associated with the natural elements. In Music, the system of pitch and scale is explained in terms of them. In the oldest book on music in Japan, Kyokunsyo, in the section Kargemonogatari (a story of wind and string instruments), Autumn is related to Kyo Zyo, sound of metal, and color white. Itikotu Tyo is the center , the sound of the earth, yellow, and light purple.

February 2008
Materials: Arduino, Contact Microphones, Eletret Microphones, DIY Instruments, Processing, Flash, Box2d