Skatebot at Lemur

July 25, 2008

 

One month residency at LEMUR-League of Electronic Musical Robots 

“Skatebot” is a live performance on skateboard-controlled musical robots. Click here to view video.

skateboarder 1: Christopher Smith -guitar 

skateboarder 2: Simon Morris -percussion 

 

Filmed by Adella Ladjevardi

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Studies

December 4, 2007

study1: melody and movement:
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study2: pitch vs. turning:studio2.jpg


Third Rail Opening

November 5, 2007

October 20th, 2007:

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“Urbane Sense” Art Exhibtion at 3rd Rail Studio in New Rochelle, NY. Here are some photos from the opening.

Interactive skateboard performance accompanied by Jerome Morris on percussion.

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Video Clips:

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Live Performance 1

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Live Performance 2


Musique on Concrete, NYC style!

June 11, 2007

“Musique Concrete” was showcased during the Seventh International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME) from June 7-9 at Eyebeam in New York City. Here are some photos from the opening.

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And video clips-


Video Clip 1


Video Clip 2


Skate/Sound Presentation at Kolin Koulu Middle School; Koli, Finland

April 14, 2007

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Middle School students at Kolin Koulu were skateboarding in their gymnasium yesterday. But this was not your average skateboard. It was part of a presentation entitled “Musique Concrete”: a combination of sports, music, and interactivity which transformed the skateboard into a music-making device.

Students participated in the music process by rolling around the floor with the skateboard. This helped them determine how the sound was triggered.

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The boy sitting on the board (in the photo above) was the first volunteer. He told me that he was a big fan of heavy metal music.

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It was a delightful afternoon. There were lots of sun spots on the floor.

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The kids were cool.

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..and so were the teachers

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..and a VIDEO!!..or click on photo below to view clip.

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Skateboarding in the forest

March 29, 2007

The pleasures of nature

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Waking up in the countryside is golden silence. I arrived in Koli, Finland this March to start the New Year at residency program at Kolin Rynnanen.

Koli (population of 300) it is far from urban life. Roughly 600 kilometers from Helsinki, Koli is nestled in a national park surrounded by forest, lakes, and mountains.

This mountainous landscape served as an inspiration for many Finnish artists and composers during the National Romantic Period at the end of the 19th century.

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Snow is still present. Most ski routes are open and cars are still traveling across the ice road to and from the neighboring town of Lieksa.

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The ice road

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Rocking Chair

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I’m experimenting with a rocking chair and an accelerometer to compose music triggered by the rocking motion. Oscillating back and forth generates various notes on a scale.

At the maximum vertical position, the scale shifts up a third allowing the “rocker” to alternate between two scales.

Images of an accelerometer enclosed in a matchbook case:

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I placed the accelerometer and the interface in my pocket and rocked myself to sleep.

The accelerometer senses the vertical position of the person rocking in the chair. A patch is programmed to generate musical notes corresponding to the various degrees of tilt.

Click on photo to view video clip or click here.

Rocking back and forth is a sensation which is quite similar to skating on a half-pipe. Can you feel it? This principle will be applied to future skate project (in the works) on ramps. But it also can be applied elsewhere. Why not on a hang-glider?

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Fire: The best television.

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Watching a fire has always been a great source of entertainment.
The visuals are extraordinary: observing ever-changing colors and flame formations can keep you glued in front of the fireplace for hours.

A musical interpretation of a fire.

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Click here to view videoclip

A light sensor is placed in the residency sauna. Various tones are generated according to the intensity of the light. Long flames render short and fast tones while weaker, less intense flames produce slow, resonating sounds. As the fire gradually dies down, the music shifts from short, interrupted pulsations to slow and extended droning sound textures.


Article Biennial 2006; Stavanger, Norway

December 13, 2006

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The Musique Concrete performance was presented on November 18th, 2006 during Article’s first Biennial in conjunction with a skate competition held by Session skateshop. You can read an article about it (in Norwegian) here.

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“The goal of Article is to promote artforms which don’t merely employ electronic techniques in its production and display, but also actively comment on technology, the ethics and politics of technology and the evolution and dissemination of technology.

Article wishes to establish an open arena for artforms which critique and engage social processes and present reflected positions on the expressive qualities and contexts of the media.”-i/o lab


Photos-Skating at Kiasma

August 14, 2006

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Click here to view the photos from the August 12th performance/demo at Kiasma Musuem.


Performance at Kiasma Museum

August 10, 2006

Helsinki, Finland

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An interactive skate performance/demo will be held on saturday, August 12th at 5pm in the lobby of the Kiasma Musuem . This is part of the annual urban festival.

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Free entrance.


June 28th Outdoor Skate Performance

July 6, 2006

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Despite the weather, the “Musique Concrete” project survived its first outdoor performance….well almost. You can watch a clip by clicking on the photo above.

The main concern was rain. Earlier that day it poured, jeopardizing the entire event. Fortunately, the sky cleared and the pavement dried just in time for the performance. Another concern was volume. Two small speakers were mounted on the end of one side of the bridge. Low frequencies did not seem to travel well and were saturated among the background noise of passing cars and buses. One solution to this problem would be obviously, to use larger speakers. Another solution would be to position the existing speakers near the water.

From a programming standpoint, the patch worked flawlessly. However, after one hour, the show was over. Too many kick flips and ollies loosened one of the soldered connections and broke the connection. That pretty much ended it.

“Wear and tear” is obviously an issue in projects such as these. At some point, something is bound to break. And for me, it was sooner rather than later. Nevertheless, one hour of solid skateboarding wasn’t too bad.

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This completes my residency period at Titanik. Overall, I’m satisfied with the outcome of this project and enjoyed my residency experience in Turku. For me, it was gratifying to achieve the goals that were set out to be accomplished by turning an idea into a reality.

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I’m especially grateful to the members of Titanik for supporting this project and for inviting me as their guest artist. Also, thanks to all those who attended the performances.

And finally, thanks to you for visiting this blog! If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

You can check for updates and upcoming events related to the of the Musique Concrete project on my website .

Simon