In a responsive, real-time sculpture, the simple sonic qualities of a rainstick become electronically enhanced. Rainlith, a “kinetic sound art” work by Rui Gato, makes the rainstick itself robotic, its sounds transformed in space in a way that is itself sculptural. Responding to movement in the space using Microsoft’s Kinect, the apparatus is a geektastic brew of just about every tool you could imagine involved in this sort of construction.

The artist shares full details, reproduced here in both English and Portugese – and Rui, thanks for sending this in:

Rainlith 2 – Kinectic sound art piece.

On Rainlith, the primitive naturally granular sound of a big rainstick gets explored in real-time by cyber-age sound manipulation tools.
It’s an interactive piece in witch the movement of the audience’s body activates an electric motor, making a reflex movement on the structure that embraces the instrument.
The sound of the rainstick is captured and processed in realtime, and sent 24 meters above, filling the empty space of a old industrial cereal container. The reverberated acoustic mix is then received back by the audience in the spot right below the opening of the container.

Na peça Rainlith o som primitivo, naturalmente granular, de um pau de chuva é explorado por ferramentas modernas de sound design, em tempo real.
É uma peça interactiva em que o movimento do corpo do público activa um motor eléctrico, provocando um movimento reflexo na estrutura que sustenta o instrumento.
O som captado em tempo real é processado e enviado 24 metros acima, enchendo o espaço de um silo de cereais industrial. A mistura acústica reverberada é absorvida pelo visitante no local imediatamente abaixo da abertura do silo.


microsoft kinect
arduino duemilanove
H-bridge (hand made)
24v 6A DC motor
zoom H4N
FM emitter / receiver
ion ipa3 portable speaker


Max for Live

agradecimentos especiais:

Nicola Henriques
Susana Luiz
Luís Pereira
Paulo Carocinho
André Sier
Daniel Coimbra
Ruben Santos

By the way, if you’re intrigued by the potential of Kinect, be sure to read sister site Create Digital Motion for more. Just today, we have news of a new version of EyesWeb that could be relevant to musical use:
EyesWeb, Powerful Computer Vision Software for Windows, Adds Kinect Support, Fixes, More