The Singing Tree

Posted by Nicolas Lewis Category: Projects

The Singing Tree is a mini sound sculpture, made in preparation for the Imaginary Instrument Factory workshops that I’m running later this month.

The tree is covered in conductive paint and other conductive materials, which are attached – through a Bare Conductive circuit board – to my computer. This means that various surfaces (including the black paint) will respond to touch, sending midi signals to the computer.

Wires leading from the conductive paint

And the Bare Conductive board waiting to be connected to those wires

There are six signals which can be triggered within the structure, the first five comprise of the little ‘ponds’ on the base. After sampling some vocals, I set these ponds up to trigger the samples, using a different pentatonic scale note for each one.

One of the ‘ponds’ – made of conductive paint and a brass paper fastener

From the trees branches hang ‘leaves’, made of paperclips and foil. The conductive paint leads from the circuit board to the branches supporting these leaves, meaning that touching them will trigger the sixth midi signal. This last signal has a drone-like function and is a blend of the tonic note, bird song, and forest ambience.

Leaves

The paperclip and foil ‘leaves’

Watch a video demonstration here:

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