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Scapes is a sound art installation that allows participants to walk around the deCordova Museum’s sculpture park listening to a mixture of a musical composition and voice commentary from previous participants all filtered and influenced by physical location.

Participants make their own contributions to the piece using a smartphone app which allows them to tag any location in the park with their own recordings. These recordings are immediately available for everyone to hear as part of the evolving composition. As participants walk around the sculpture park, the individual path they follow creates their own personal version of the Scapes audio experience. The music is directly influenced by the landscape and is composed using custom algorithms which constantly generate new music; there are no repeated loops.

Audio Sample

Technology

Scapes builds off the ” platform developed initially for my ” installation. In keeping with the open and collaborative nature of my work, Roundware was built primarily using open-source software tools and packages. The custom server software was developed in Python and runs on Linux. The client software runs on iPhone and the communication between client and server is done via the 3G network. Positioning is determined using GPS.

The algorithmic music was programmed in Max/MSP (Max for Live) and various software samplers and synthesizers were used to turn the algorithm outputs into an evolving stream of audio.

Additional Information

Scapes was supported in part by a grant from the Bedford and Lincoln Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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