Sonicforms is a project started by Chris O’Shea. It began with the intention of creating a tangible interface that encouraged collaboration in musical composition, through the design of the objects and projected graphics.
Throughout my research, I was finding that developers of such projects (in most cases) were only allowing the users control over predefined sound samples, altering volume, timing and effects. Because of this I wanted to create an interface that would give a deeper level of control, to create improvised instruments on the fly and synthesise sounds. This would give the users of my work a greater feeling of empowerment in controlling the instruments. ‘Inducing people to compose using predefined instruments cannot lead to a mode of production different from that authorized by those instruments’ (Attali 1985: 141).
Where it is at now
This website is a summary of my research, my experiments and a step towards creating an open community of artists who aren’t afraid to share their work. This project is the start of something much bigger. At the moment it is a documentation of research and an invitation for others to get involved. Very soon it will be a set of tools for creating tangible interfaces and a central knowledgebase.
Where is it going
‘Music is no longer made to be represented or stockpiled, but for participation in collective play, in an ongoing quest for new, immediate communication, without ritual and always unstable’ (Attali 1985: 141). French theorist Jacques Attali described the age of composition, led by the innovation of musical instruments, created by consumers themselves for their own satisfaction. This project believes that it is open source communities and diy homebrew creation will be at the forefront of this movement.