Mechatronic Art and Music

These are the four final projects from the 2020 "Mechatronic Art & Music" course. Each student was tasked with opened ended assignment of designing and creating their own electro-mechanical device related to their personal creative practice. Carl Burgin, Trevor Bock, Charles Danner, Cy Krafft & Kai-Luen Liang

Kai-Luen Liang

Tomorrow There Will Be Wind ( Automatic Windchimes )
A performance of playing an Arduino controlled set of wind chimes.
Vibration motors are activated through a motor driver creating divisions and
polyrhythms based on various “states.” First iteration prototype with beer
bottle activation.


 

Trevor Bock

4-Note Bottle Blowing Instrument

I have always loved the angelic sound that is produced by blowing into an empty glass
bottle. The combination of wind noise and the ringing sine wave tone that resonates out of the
bottle creates a fascinating timbre that is impossible to perfectly replicate digitally. What if you
could mechanically create this sound and produce beautiful melodies to perform with it? This is
what inspired me to create the 4-Note Bottle Blowing Instrument. This device contains four
small fans attached to DC motors mounted in a specific way to effectively blow air into each of
the bottles. This causes them to resonate and create a fairly loud sine tone. Each bottle is
individually tuned by raising and lowering the amount of water inside them. Using an Arduino,
the instrument will then perform a sequence of notes by fading the fans in and out from left to
right. This allows musicians to tune each bottle accordingly and create any four part melody
they desire.


 

Cy Krafft

This work in progress was inspired by a love of old school liquid light shows and a fascination
with the precise engineering of the inside of a moving head. The goal is to repurpose the
internal mechanisms from used Clay Paky Alpha Spot and Alpha Wash fixtures to create an
animating liquid light show in the beam of the fixtures.
I began with the Alpha Wash fixtures due to the less complex internal layout. However, due to
the limited range of beam effects in the fixture, the color wheels were my first choice for
modification. The challenge with the color wheels was adapting the rotational movement of the
color wheels into the vertical movement of a plate.
The first iteration of this design is made of two clear discs connected by a silicone tube to create
a sealed container that is then filled with the dyed oil and water. The two discs can then be
oscillated against each other through the use of a ridged gear on the inside of the metal plates
holding the discs. This creates the fluid movement associated with traditional liquid light shows.
In addition, the entire mechanism can be moved in and out of the beam to add or remove the
effect. The prototype of this iteration is still in development


 

Charles Danner


 

Adam Zuckerman

A collection of melodies. Embedded like a small light in the corner. This piece engages themes and processes of transparency/translucence, copying/covering, and distance/absence: the traces of a thing not there. Melody fragments expand and contract. Here, melody crystallizes into harmony and harmony unfolds as melody. Like a constellation of stars; or in the direction of […]

Hamed Dehqan

Burn This is an abstract and artificial image of burning flowers under sunlight as a lover of love feels burning.     

Usha Venkat

Radical Practice Radical Practice is a series of podcast conversations between CalArts Graphic Design Program alumnae and current students. Each episode features an alumna with a distinct professional practice, including BFAs and MFAs whose endeavors range from cultural to corporate and from singular enterprises to ambitious ideas. We’ll discuss how they have defined success for […]

John Tejada

Future Stars class compilation album John Tejada, a frequent guest on Touched Music compilations, hatched the idea of turning the final project for his CalArts “Advanced Electronic Music Production” class into a compilation album for the established label. John Tejada Presents Future Stars features 15 of Tejada’s students at their best, as well as an […]

Yunni Lin

The Process A short film documenting the day to day training of dancers in the studios.