Driftwood: Redefining Sound Sculpture Controllers

Rieger, Alexandra and Topel, Spencer

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

The Driftwood is a maneuverable sculptural instrument & controller. Tactilely, it is a micro-terrain one can explore with the hands as with the ears. Closed circuit sensors, moving wooden parts and Piezo microphones are discussed in the design phase alongside background and musical implementation concepts. Electronics and nature converge in this instrument harmoniously referencing our changing world and environment. When engaging with the sonic sculpture silent objects become audible and rest-wood is venerated. It is revealed to the musician interacting with Driftwood that our actions intervene directly with issues relating to sustainability and the amount of value we place on the world we live in. Every scrap of wood was once a tree, Driftwood reminds us of this in a multi-sensory playing experience. The Driftwood proposes a reinterpretation of the process of music creation, awareness and expression.