Inside the computer, music software very often looks like it always did – faux mixers and multitracks and piano rolls. But in the hands of designers, musical objects are appearing as something very different.

And those iconic mouse ears seem to be … following you.

MICKEYPHON – kinetic av sculpture created for Disney from ◥ panGenerator on Vimeo.

From Warsaw, Poland, the team at panGenerator share their latest. It’s a kinetic sculpture that listens to the environment and responds in musical ways. It’s kid’s play, by design – but then it suggests to me some of the patterns interactive architecture might produce in responding dynamically to an environment.

MICKEYPHON (pl: MIKIFON) is an interactive audiovisual kinetic sculpture,
inspired by Mickey Mouse, created for Disney.
MICKEYPHON listens to the sounds in the surroundings, rotating in the direction
of the sound sources and samples them to create and playback rhythmic patterns based upon them.
The visuals displayed on the custom cylindrical RGB LED matrix are audio-reactive,
tightly integrated with the music output of the installation.
The piece invites both children and adults to experiment with creating sounds using their voices,
clapping their hands or using the provided instruments and observe their influence on the kinetic,
visual and audiatory output of the sculpture.
by panGenerator team – Piotr Barszczewski, Krzysztof Cybulski, Krzysztof Goliński, Jakub Koźniewski
Filmed by HolaHola Film ( )
Directed and video edited by Jakub Koźniewski
Music by Maciek Dobrowolski ( )

It’s clever, inventive stuff. Of course, this also raises the question – could serious tools be dynamic and creative in the same way, or only interactive creations?

Well worth checking out panGenerator’s prolific work, though – it’s always imaginative and physical, and demonstrates some of the best work coming out of Poland at the moment.