field.io/project/orbiter

The “Orbiter” takes possession of all senses. It is a place for visitors to lay down and relax, watching the firmament above them. With a small gesture, just pointing upwards, the visitor can insert new stars into orbit with unique visual and musical characteristics. The player enwombed by the instrument; the music infolding and pervading the ears, the body and space.

The dream of reaching for the stars is as old as mankind itself. The mathematics of planetary orbits, the perfection of natural geometrical forms fascinates and inspires scientists and artists alike. Even music principles as tonality or phase displacement are based upon computational ideas and find correspondency in the “Orbiter’s” structure.

The music is played on a scale of concentric circles, visible in some of the scenes, with higher tones on the larger, basses on the smaller circles. The bigger you let a star grow before you pull back your hand to insert it into orbit, the louder it plays.
Like the stars orbit on the large ceiling screen above the player, the surround sound orbits in the room on 4 high-tone-channels, supported by a bass box and a solid bourne sound speaker underneath the player´s couch.

Each version of the Orbiter features various scenes with different graphics, sounds and behaviour. Some create an illusionary nightsky firmament, playing more melodic or ambient sounds. Others experiment with the possibilities of graphical abstraction and rough synths, allowing you to even play drum´nbass-like sounds.

The installation is based on custom-built software using latest gaming and computer vision technology, performing real-time analysis of a camera image of the player as well as generating 6-channel-audio and video signals. The video analysis is coded in C++, instructing SuperCollider for the audio generation, Processing for the graphics.

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