Swamp Orchestra

Swamp Orchestra



What have you made?

Swamp orchestra is an interactive sound installation that creates a unique sonic ecosystem and explores the realm of “natural” and “artificial” sound.The installation contains sixteen light sensitive sound modules. Each module responds to a flashlight and the sound varies from the quantity and behavior of the light.

What gave you the initial inspiration?

The idea for this project started during the electronic workshop held by Julian Hespenheide at University of Arts Bremen. Each participant had to build a small oscillator that generates noise. During this workshop I was really surprised by variations and fluctuations of the sound and I wanted to explore that field.

What is the original idea behind this project?

These small modules make sound like many biological organisms, such as insects, frogs or birds. Like most of these organisms, the modules need light to exist and to “sing” to their highest potential.
I wanted to create a specific sonic ecosystem and to explore complexities of rhythm, small motions, sounds and the dynamic behavior of natural system and its patterns.
The set up itself reflects the layout of a concert hall stage on a much smaller scale. The pyramid shape has been carefully chosen for its ancient symbolism as well as modularity where 3 or 5 pyramids form the cube.

How does it work?

As mentioned above, the installation contains sixteen light sensitive sound modules, where every one of them produces random noise. Each module runs independently and responds to a flashlight that is controlled by Arduino Uno. The “rhythm” of the light triggers various sound oscillations.

How long did it take to make it real?

Two months for electronics and physical part.

How did you build it?

I made tree different type of sound oscillators.
Eight modules are comprised of solar panels that are in this case both, power supply as well as a light sensor, Hex Schmitt – trigger inverters, active speakers, resistors and capacitors.
Three modules were made up of loudspeaker and LM386 Low Voltage Audio Power Amplifier, as well as all electronics mentioned above. They were powered by 9V battery.
Five are composed of 555 timers, LDR (photo sensitive resistor), resistors, capacitors and powered by 9V battery.
For running the sixteen flashlights on Arduino Uno I used TLC5940 16-Channel LED Driver.