Blown Away (2013)

Blown Away is an interactive installation and audiovisual instrument for contact microphones, speaker, laptop, and video projection, which investigates breath as a musical interface in an unconventional context. Visitors are encouraged to blow into the projected circles, or points of contact. The installation responds dynamically to their breath with a haunting wind-like sound, and the projected points of contact blur, expand and contract with the ebb and flow of the breath.

The points of contact are placed at different levels in the space so that gallery visitors must sometimes kneel, jump, or use benches in order to reach them. If they want to play different tones in fast succession, they must move very quickly, or even run. Additionally, this installation changes the normal mode of interacting with a wall, by asking visitors to blow on it, which both draws attention to the act of breathing and turns to the wall into a more intimate place. In this way, “Blown Away” is designed to
change how visitors interact and experience the space in which it is installed.

The points of contact are created via contact microphones attached to the walls. They are illuminated by video projection created by a Processing program mapping the visuals to the sensors. Each point of contact emits one sound at one pitch. The user controls the volume of the sound as well as timbral aspects with her breath. Further, the height of the point of contact also corresponds to pitch height, such that points located high on the wall are elevated in pitch, and vice versa. The sounds created by the installation are inspired by wind and breath.

The scale of this work is variable; it can consist of 4-12+ points of contact. The points of contact may be arranged in various ways around the walls and room, so that each configuration changes with the space.

This work will be exhibited the New York City Electro-Acoustic Music Festival June 2015. It was exhibited at the DC Gallery, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ in November 2013.