My 33 1/3 book, on Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works Volume II, was the 5th bestselling book in the series in 2014. It's available at Amazon (including Kindle) and via your local bookstore. • F.A.Q.Key Tags: #saw2for33third, #sound-art, #classical, #juntoElsewhere: Twitter, SoundCloud, Instagram

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Playing with audio.
Sounding out technology.
Composing in code.

The Wired Heart

Tests made using the Arduino heartbeat sensor

20140715-sensor “Heart,” Nick Lowe once sang, “why must you make such a commotion?” Affairs of that particular organ are a common enough matter in music composition. A relatively recent flourishing in inexpensive home-brew electronics has provided a uniquely quantitive approach to field research. The musician known as Papernoise (aka Hannes Pasqualini), based in Bolzano, Italy, has been experimenting with sensors that let his music kit feed off his pulse. His brief description of his efforts is as follows, for those looking to confirm the experiments in their own audio laboratories:

More tests made using the Arduino hearbeat sensor, the LXR Drum synth and the modular. Modules used: Hexinverter.net Mutant Bassdrum and Hihats, Hexinverter.net Jupiter Storm and Galiean Moons, Microbe Modular Equation Composer, Ian Fritz Threeler VCF

The result is a steady percussive sequence in which flares and echoes and other sonic elements seem to be triggered by the musician’s heart, as it goes on, again in Nick Lowe’s terms, “pounding like a hammer.”

That may be the device in question up top, via sparkfun.com.

Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/papernoise. More on Papernoise at papernoise.ne.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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