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An interactive installation showing the exciting diversity of a city

May 29, 2013 Zoe Romano

Global Sounds

Global Sounds is an interactive installation by Rebecca Gischel. It is composed by a series of pyramids made of acrylic glass installed in a square in Edinburgh and each of them programmed to play different instrumental sections of a song when interacted with.

The composition, which was written especially for the project and includes a mix of instruments symbolic of different cultures such as the kato and didgeridoo, allude to the multicultural richness migrants have brought to the UK and Europe bringing parts of their own culture with them.



The song is combined of 7 instruments and 7 pyramids. At first, none of the instruments plays. When someone is standing beside a pyramid, one instruments starts to play. The more people come together, the more instruments join in. Each pyramid has a light bulb inside which is like an equalizer of one instruments. When there are at least 7 people playing with the installation together, the square becomes a play of sound and light. When all pyramids are working together, they compose an harmonic musical piece in its entirety.

Rebecca wrote us:

I used the Arduino Uno. I have one webcam with a fisheye lens on the top of each pyramid. I used the flob library + processing to detect if someone is standing beside a pyramid. If so, one instrument starts to play and processing gives the digital values of the equalizer to Arduino (photo ‘Arduino picture 1′, this was my first testing of the equalizer with normal LEDs). I wanted to use real light bulb instead of LED’s, so I build a transformer (photo ‘Arduino picture 3′) which translates the Arduino-Input into an 12V-Output for the light bulbs which are powered by a car battery. I used 7 pins, one pin per light bulb.

Arduino - picture 1

Arduino - picture 3