Arboration is an experiment in virtual environmental game control that places the wellbeing of a digital forest into the hands of a performer using music (and music theory) as the control interface, play as the vehicle for interaction and generative narrative as a feedback system.

The idea behind this project stems from the desire to combine musical improvisation with dynamic narrative control. The physical action of playing the piano-like, touch-sensitive keyboard is translated via harmonic analysis into data that controls a 3D environment projected onto a screen. By analyzing the intervals between the notes being played by the performer we can determine if what is being played is harmonically consonant or dissonant which is sent through the programming to determine the visual output. This process allows music theory to be the core of the control structure, however musical form is not a factor allowing anyone to have the full experience, not just musicians. Music theory is the control, play is the vehicle, and visual/emotional response is the feedback system.

Created by Mike Allison, Michelle Cortese, and FangYu Yang
2012 NYU ITP Physical Computing Midterm Project

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