Skateboarding in the forest

March 29, 2007

The pleasures of nature




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.



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.

The ice road



Rocking Chair


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:





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?


Fire: The best television.



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.

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.


One Response to “Skateboarding in the forest”

  1. jerome Says:

    hello, simon.
    Thank you for all these nice images and sounds!
    keep going forward.

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