For the Spark! Festival of Creativity at the Mesa Arts Center, urbanSTEW proposed an interactive sound installation inspired by machine instruments called Intonarumori (in English “noise intoners”). The festival commissioned the work, and we have built and presented six interactive sound box instruments!

The project was a great success in many regards. For us, it was months of fun experimentation in areas we have never tried before, like the Raspberry Pi computer and wood construction. Against all expectations, it resulted in six different box instruments that not only worked but survived five days of repeated onslaughts of eager children and adults. The boxes provided a new way to play and explore music making for folks of all ages and diverse backgrounds. Judging from comments like “Wow, this is so cool!” and “Mom, let’s go home and build one!” we even inspired a few kids to want to explore electronics themselves.

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