Pulse//Wave was created by Michele Abolaffio and Giuliano Anzani and aims to connect two bodies (wood and flesh) into a single resonating element. It focuses on tactile sound manipulation and creates personal sonic experiences based on musical intent and gesture. When interacting with this installation the audience ends up exploring themselves through the panel, as their actions are reflected in the physical structure of the installation. Different tensions and pressures are accentuated through the panel, affecting the visual and sonic behaviour of the installation.
The installation is composed of a wooden panel mounted on a supporting structure. The panel is equipped with contact speakers which act as the interface with the audience. The audience wears contact microphone-equipped wristbands that amplify the sound passing through the hands.
The interaction happens when the player touches the panel: the sound captured by the wearable microphones is transmitted to the contact speakers on the panel, establishing a feedback loop between the panel and the hands. The position and the pressure of the hands influence the sonic outcome. This data also drives the sound processing module that enhances the sound quality of the interaction, as well as a reactive lighting system which highlights the feedback’s behaviour.
The control system runs on the Bela Mini as a SuperCollider program. The software includes a series of modulation processes used to emphasise and enhance the resonances produced by the feedback as well as introducing new musical elements derived from the user’s interaction. The input signal from the microphones is analysed and drives the audio and light processes. The analysis algorithms applied to the input signals include frequency centroid, envelope tracking, and statistical analyses. This data is then used to control manipulation of the audio and influence the resulting sound, and in particular to avoid static situations. This challenges the audience to explore different scenarios and experiment with different gestures.