Sound Objects VR

Challenge: Take advantage of the spatial characteristics of VR and place the user at the center of a playful music improvisation.

This is a sonic VR experience allowing players to orchestrate a musical soundscape thru interactions with dynamic objects and playful physics.  Positioning the user as co-author is a theme in my work, and in this project it was interesting to see how people approached the act of musical improvisation within a VR headset experience.  Here is a live demo of the piece that I performed for the ITP class Interactive Music, and below you'll find a stop motion video of our showcase at the 2017 ITP Spring Show where the public got to try it out.  Kids especially enjoyed it - always a good sign that the interface and concept are as intuitive you'd hoped!

My partner Or Fleisher and I have populated a desert landscape with variously shaped bounceable objects where each is tied to an array of ambient music sound assets. Related sonic clusters which span the eq spectrum are grouped, and the sounds are triggered as their corresponding object bounces against the ground. By bouncing the object harder it travels higher, effectively stretching the cycle length of each array’s loop. And as each object pulls randomly from an array of note values, unpredictable melodies and combinations of harmonious sounds unfold and play out as the user travels around the desert tending to their dynamic soundscape in motion.  Every time it's a different composition, and every time it sounds good.