Light organs have been in use for generations. But this is the first generation that has grown up in a world of image and sound in which expression across electronic media might seem simply second nature.

And oddly, as screens have become more ubiquitous, so, too, has thinking beyond them.

What we see here, then, isn’t a projection. It isn’t a display. It’s a big bundle of lightbulbs, making rhythmic poetry in off and on once connected to a jumble of wires. Play the Moog app Animoog on an iPad, and that mountain of electronic junk winks back at you like lightning bugs.

Going from screen (iPad) to pre-digital expression (lightbulbs) seems to make perfect sense.

This project of course isn’t alone. I’m actually hopeful that we’ll see experiments like this become more commonplace – that connected interactive lighting will be as common as VJing to a projector has been in the past.

In this case, the project comes from Moog’s home of Asheville and artist Chas Llewellyn. Chas is working with a computer running Cycling ’74’s graphical creation tool Max/MSP to translate music notes into lights. Max, then, is an interactive accompanist, containing the logic of how to convey the ideas of the musical performance in dances of light.

Full description:

Sculptor / programmer / interactive interface designer, Chas Llewellyn, explores the form and function of a large-scale light sculpture he designed using Moog Music’s Animoog app as the control source. From his former Wedge Studios workspace in Asheville’s River Arts District, Chas details the multiple electronic communication protocols that he integrated into the final working installation.

Thanks to the fine folks at Moog for sharing this, and their excellent iOS synthesizer.

animoog

Animoog | Interactive Interface

  • Will

    So great. Yes, could be done in the past but seems to me the big win here is that he’s able to use a great sounding musical synthesizer with the requisite XY controller as the musical and technical source instead of creating a playing surface, hooking it up to some other synthesizer and blah blah blah. Long live Animoog.

    A link at the end of the video was to one of the Moog Soundlab sessions I hadn’t seen (Mutemath’s Blood Pressure). In the instrument notes, this struck me as a bit of a wow:

    “Blood Pressure” fades in with Darren playing pulsing bass lines in the verse and higher etherial notes on Animoog, being controlled by a Minimoog Voyager.

    “You used a Voyager to do what now?,” thought everyone, ever.

    • Chris Stack

      Better than just using a Voyager to control Animoog is combining them a little more intimately… run Animoog’s audio back into the Voyager for additional filtering.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFW8Yyvrc-A

      • Daniel Burke

        Is this installation still around in Asheville?

        • Chris Stack

          I don’t know. I haven’t seen it.

          • Daniel Burke

            No prob

    • wingo shackleford

      Animoog is really amazing. As far as digital synths go, it’s one of the most inspiring I’ve ever used. It can sound really beautiful. But if you are using an external controller, you are missing out on what makes it the most interesting, IMHO. The unique, expressive interface is one of the most fun things about it.

      • Will

        Yes, that was actually my point—he’s able to use that expressive interface to meet both musical and technical (light controller) needs.

  • Will

    So great. Yes, could be done in the past but seems to me the big win here is that he’s able to use a great sounding musical synthesizer with the requisite XY controller as the musical and technical source instead of creating a playing surface, hooking it up to some other synthesizer and blah blah blah. Long live Animoog.

    A link at the end of the video was to one of the Moog Soundlab sessions I hadn’t seen (Mutemath’s Blood Pressure). In the instrument notes, this struck me as a bit of a wow:

    “Blood Pressure” fades in with Darren playing pulsing bass lines in the verse and higher etherial notes on Animoog, being controlled by a Minimoog Voyager.

    “You used a Voyager to do what now?,” thought everyone, ever.

    • Chris Stack

      Better than just using a Voyager to control Animoog is combining them a little more intimately… run Animoog’s audio back into the Voyager for additional filtering.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFW8Yyvrc-A

      • Daniel Burke

        Is this installation still around in Asheville?

        • Chris Stack

          I don’t know. I haven’t seen it.

          • Daniel Burke

            No prob

    • wingo shackleford

      Animoog is really amazing. As far as digital synths go, it’s one of the most inspiring I’ve ever used. It can sound really beautiful. But if you are using an external controller, you are missing out on what makes it the most interesting, IMHO. The unique, expressive interface is one of the most fun things about it.

      • Will

        Yes, that was actually my point—he’s able to use that expressive interface to meet both musical and technical (light controller) needs.

  • Will

    So great. Yes, could be done in the past but seems to me the big win here is that he’s able to use a great sounding musical synthesizer with the requisite XY controller as the musical and technical source instead of creating a playing surface, hooking it up to some other synthesizer and blah blah blah. Long live Animoog.

    A link at the end of the video was to one of the Moog Soundlab sessions I hadn’t seen (Mutemath’s Blood Pressure). In the instrument notes, this struck me as a bit of a wow:

    “Blood Pressure” fades in with Darren playing pulsing bass lines in the verse and higher etherial notes on Animoog, being controlled by a Minimoog Voyager.

    “You used a Voyager to do what now?,” thought everyone, ever.

    • Chris Stack

      Better than just using a Voyager to control Animoog is combining them a little more intimately… run Animoog’s audio back into the Voyager for additional filtering.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFW8Yyvrc-A

      • Daniel Burke

        Is this installation still around in Asheville?

        • Chris Stack

          I don’t know. I haven’t seen it.

          • Daniel Burke

            No prob

    • wingo shackleford

      Animoog is really amazing. As far as digital synths go, it’s one of the most inspiring I’ve ever used. It can sound really beautiful. But if you are using an external controller, you are missing out on what makes it the most interesting, IMHO. The unique, expressive interface is one of the most fun things about it.

      • Will

        Yes, that was actually my point—he’s able to use that expressive interface to meet both musical and technical (light controller) needs.

  • James Husted

    The next step would be to control Philips Hue lights (or the equivalents) via Wi-Fi and cut out a lot of cables/switches and add full spectrum color. Oh, and add a lot of cost too of course. A Max to Hue interface should be developed by someone if there isn’t one out there already. THAT would be a VERY useful little Max patcher to have.

  • James Husted

    The next step would be to control Philips Hue lights (or the equivalents) via Wi-Fi and cut out a lot of cables/switches and add full spectrum color. Oh, and add a lot of cost too of course. A Max to Hue interface should be developed by someone if there isn’t one out there already. THAT would be a VERY useful little Max patcher to have.

  • James Husted

    The next step would be to control Philips Hue lights (or the equivalents) via Wi-Fi and cut out a lot of cables/switches and add full spectrum color. Oh, and add a lot of cost too of course. A Max to Hue interface should be developed by someone if there isn’t one out there already. THAT would be a VERY useful little Max patcher to have.

  • Frank

    So – what’s the big deal ? All i’m seeing is something that looks like what a light organ does.Just in one color.And with more complicated technology behind it.Really, i’m not impressed.

  • Frank

    So – what’s the big deal ? All i’m seeing is something that looks like what a light organ does.Just in one color.And with more complicated technology behind it.Really, i’m not impressed.

  • Frank

    So – what’s the big deal ? All i’m seeing is something that looks like what a light organ does.Just in one color.And with more complicated technology behind it.Really, i’m not impressed.

  • Max

    Is it junk?
    Is it art?
    I can’t tell. Meh.

  • Max

    Is it junk?
    Is it art?
    I can’t tell. Meh.

  • Max

    Is it junk?
    Is it art?
    I can’t tell. Meh.

  • Daniel Burke

    This is very cool

  • Daniel Burke

    This is very cool

  • Daniel Burke

    This is very cool