Sustainable: a dynamic, robotic, sound installation

Birchfield, David and Lorig, David and Phillips, Kelly

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

This paper details the motivations, design, and realization of Sustainable, a dynamic, robotic sound installation that employs a generative algorithm for music and sound creation. The piece is comprised of seven autonomous water gong nodes that are networked together by water tubes to distribute water throughout the system. A water resource allocation algorithm guides this distribution process and produces an ever-evolving sonic and visual texture. A simple set of behaviors govern the individual gongs, and the system as a whole exhibits emergent properties that yield local and large scale forms in sound and light.