SOUNDSPADE

2006

Soundspade is a crowd-sourcing digital music performance interface that generates experimental electronic soundscapes. It is an exploration that reimagines the relationship between musician and audience through interface design and peer-to-peer networks (a driving force. behind the early development of music technology and p2p communities such as Napster).  The piece is a software and hardware tool that enables musicians to search, upload, play and compose, using a network repository of sound samples. The sound files can be contributed to the repository from the audience through local sharing via iTunes. The software analyzes the sound files for different musical qualities when they are uploaded. The musician can then search the repository based on musical qualities, and selected samples can then be downloaded.

The Soundspade hardware is an embedded Linux music workstation designed to be portable and easy for musicians to use. It incorporates touch sensitive technology for its key controls. The main premise behind the music work- station is to provide an integration of an audio and MIDI enabled com- puter and MIDI controller. The hardware supports Open Source MIDI and audio software making it a versatile workstation for any musician. With the addition of the Soundspade client software, the musician can upload, search and download samples from the Soundspade repos- itory. The Soundspade software downloads songs from shared iTunes playlists, and then analyzes, slices and ingests them into the repository for use in the hardware.

Music created by the artist using Soundspade has been used in artist Liu Bolin's video installation Hiding in New York (see video below).

Archival video of instrument system design and development, 2006.

 Soundspade instrument (side view).

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Music created by Benjamin Bacon via the Soundspade interface was used in contemporary Chinese artist Liu Bolin's installation video Hiding in New York.

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Hardware design,, 2006. 

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Instrument encasing design, 2006