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Somnium @The Cube

Somniumcomposed, programmed and performed in collaboration with Margaret Schedel,  D.j. Malinowski , was included as the first movement of a piece called Mysterium Cosmographicum (ConcordiaCrew) at CubeFest 2019 in The Cube, Virginia Tech, USA.

This 4 minute version sonifies and spatializes 400 years (1619-2019) of planetary orbital data using Ableton, Max, Mi.Mu Gloves, touch controller and lasers with fellow collaborator artist  Sonya Yuditskaya .

Somnium is inspired by one of the first works of science fiction (according to Carl Sagan and Isaac Asimov) written by Johannes Kepler. Audiences are taken on a tour of the solar system lead by two ethereal guides (left hand & right hand) as the venue's inner space is transformed into outer space.

The journey begins with the sound of solar plasma combined with the cosmic magnetic background just before landing on Mars, the red planet. The complete voyage includes visits to Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Mercury & Earth. (This itinerary was set by taking into consideration both the Hohmann Transfer Orbit , the key of each planets' rotation period, and the relative key progression from one to the next.)  

More details:

Course & Color -The course toward a planet was engaged by an ios touch controller called Gliss (beta from MiMu). This also set the laser color in the starfield as well as the stage lighting dependant upon which planet we were journeying to. 

Harmonies & Sound - The harmonies of the surrounding planets were based on the angle derived from the planetary data at any given moment. This was spacialized in real-time across a 64 channel speaker array to activate the space for the rest of the movements in full ambisonic sound. The chromaticism of harmonies was controlled by the MiMu gloves. Each hand gesture also controlled a particular planet's volume along with haptic and LED feedback on the gloves for navigational assistance. The key, melody, time signature and bpm of each planet was extrapolated from the orbital data. Sound design accounted for the speed of sound through the primary gas on each planet, giving each its own voice and ears as it also affected the way in which the surrounding planets were heard through the atmosphere on the planet we were touring at any given time.  

Lasers & Light: The 5 lasers were controlled by the sum of both gloves:

1) total volume became 'refresh rate' which translated to the number of stars in space, while 2) total chromaticism controlled the density of the starfield.

View the 360degree, 4 minute version of Somnium HERE

For inquiries please contact us.


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