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TRIAD OF TRIADS
24” x 24” x 50”, 2011
Aqua resin, epoxy clay, 32 infrared sensors, 32 hacked greeting card sound modules, 32 speakers, custom circuity, wood, steel, dixie cups, and amp mesh.
Triad of Triads is a sound sculpture prototype that converts three dimensional form into sound. It existing simultaneously as instrument and a sculpture, and can be played by touching or hovering one's hand over a sensor.
The piece steals its shape from a musical triad shape (a three-note chord) which emerges at 2min 5 sec in the animation Quinta. The object began its life as a 3D computer model whose constituents were made up of several thousand vertices (points in space, each with x, y, z coordinates). I selected 32 of these vertices along the body of the virtual object, then built the object in the real-world. I installed 32 sensors to match the location of the 32 vertices, whereafeter, I wrote a program to converted the x,y,z coordinates of the vertices into their musical analogues. At this point, I set each sensor to trigger the precise three-note/three-vertex chord sound to represent the space it occupied in relation to itself based on the object's bounding box. With each sensor triggering the sound of their space, this piece became a first step towards a synesthetic experience for translating sound to space through touch.
Where Quinta translated sound into form, Triad of Triad converted form into sound. To do that, I milled the 3D model out of foam with a CNC machine, assembled the styrofoam components, and carved out channels for the 32 infrared sensors that were to represent the aforementioned vertices. I placed the sensors into their allotted spaces as determined by the model, and sealed the foam with epoxy clay and aquaresin. Finally, I wired the sensors to the electronics, greeting cards, and speakers.
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