Interactivation: When Music Makers and Tesla Coils Collide

Interactivation: When Music Makers and Tesla Coils Collide

On display at Maker Faire 2009, Interactivation is a whimsical, slightly non-sensical cross between a six-way collaborative music machine and a Tesla coil, producing improvised sounds and scientific trickery from the same machine.

Interactivation was created by a group called Lightning Temple, who want to use sound vibrations to promote holistic healing or something like that. Great. But it’s the tech I’m more interested in.

The music component of Interactivation works by running each of the six stations through a sequencing program on a laptop. Each station has an array arcade-y buttons connected to a circuit board that triggers audio samples and/or loops, which wash over each other in a lovely mess of sonic slop. To keep everything sounding cohesive, the loops fire in time with the selected time signature, so all the samples are in rhythm.

The Tesla Coil wasn’t up and running during the day, so it’s uncertain to what extent it functions. But I’m not sure I’d want to be noodling with sitar loops anywhere near Interactivation when it is working. [Lightning Temple]