BOX BOX BOX is a new work that revolves around a performance ecology of three self-built portable electronic instruments. Although the project was conceived around BOX, both HST1d and Beat Machine v 0.3 play an important role. The intention with BOX is to communicate the inner workings of the software and the decisions/gestures of the human performer via 48 LEDs built into the lid of the instrument, which is orientated towards the audience during performance and used for visual feedback by the performer. When closed BOX has no visible controls on its outside surfaces but hides light and a control interface within, an accelerometer built into the lid acts as overall volume control and provides a link between sound, light, and motion; when BOX is closed no light is visible and sound stops. The works presented here are inherently improvised but structured by various interactive behaviors and sonic systems.
The project highlights the tension between tactile gestures and complex remappings; physicality is celebrated but the creative potential of self-animating systems that are difficult to navigate is explored. There is a clear obsession with circles, loops, and patterns. The overall goal is to foreground a variety of autonomous and manually operated systems that combine to force the performer’s attention to the matters at hand. The software is written in Pure Data and runs on an iPad via Mobile Music Platform, this is controlled by bespoke laser-cut controller programmed via Arduino on a Teensy LC.
Box Box Box Live at Glasgow Electronic and Audiovisual Media (GLEAM) Festival, Glasgow University, October 2019.
Box Box Box Live at Electronic Music Concert, University of Derby (UK), November 2019.
Links to online documentation
- BOX BOX BOX (one-page project overview on johnrobertferguson.com)
- Glasgow Electronic and Audiovisual Media (GLEAM) Festival @ the University of Glasgow, Eventbrite Listing.
- Electronic Music Concert and Artist Talk @ Derby University (UK), Eventbrite Listing.
- Research Presentation and Demonstration of Electronic Instruments at Orpheus Research Summit, Ghent (November 2019).
- BOX BOX BOX Video Documentation Captured at QCGU.
- BOX BOX BOX Video Documentation Captured at Glasgow Electronic and Audiovisual Media (GLEAM) Festival 2019.
- Beat Machine v0.3 Overview on Vimeo.
- HST1d Single Page Overview.