Beep-it from Michael Una on Vimeo.

Cast your shadow, shine a light, make a square wave synth make noise.

Michael Una is at it again. This time, he’s created something called the Beep-It. It’s a wonderfully elegant design for a light-controller soundmaker, an optical Theremin. He describes it to CDM thusly:

This minimalist electronic musical instrument eschews esoteric interface in favor of intuitive, expressive control.  One button turns the device on or off, which can produce a continuous tone or a rhythmic sequence.  One sensor varies pitch of the output waveform in response to ambient light.  The resulting system encourages playfulness and body movement.

You can buy all this goodness in hand-built, signed form for US$25 from Mike’s Etsy store, and he’s made the whole project open-source.

Beep-It @ Etsy

If you’re luck enough to be in Chicago, Michael is part of an art show called “Electrify” with more of these sorts of creations. You can buy your own Beep-It from the man himself, while soaking up the live musical stylings of Moment Sound. Electricity isn’t just for electronics: these artists will interpret the theme in the form of “painting, photography, sculpture, stencil, collage, and video.”

Electrify, November 15 @ Deadline Projects (Saturday 6-11p)

Schematics, images, explanation

Straight out of Michael’s notebook / brain: