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Interactive Sound Environment (1999 - 2000)

Go to Gallery Page Interactive Sound Environment
Related EntriesAudio Visual Gallery
Web based artwork
Location: Online
Online sound installation by Somaya Langley


The Interactive Sound Environment is an online sound installation. In an attempt to get users actively engaging with a sound installation developed for the web browser and computer interface, three-dimensional object stills were created and then implemented as “instruments”. Running the mouse across the surface of these objects – like running a finger across the strings of a traditional instrument – activates the sound.

This environment uses the Beatnik plug-in and computer soundcard general midi instruments, percussion and sound effects. Different areas on the surface of each object relate to different pitches. Various scales including semitone, whole-tone and tritone scales were used in determining sets of pitches assigned to each object. Pitches outside of the traditional instrument ranges were selected so each object does not sound like a traditional instrument.

The composed element of this sound environment comes from Langley's selection of particular instrumental and percussive sounds mapped to the individual objects and subsequent combining of complimentary timbres mapped to the “ensemble” (formed from objects of the same colour). Users can choose to interact with an entire ensemble or switch to a single object view, to play a solo instrument.

The Interactive Sound Environment was a temporary online sound installation designed for particular browser and plug-in versions.

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Prepared by: Iain Mott
Created: 10 December 2003

Published by The University of Melbourne
Comments, questions, corrections and additions: i.mott@unimelb.edu.au
Prepared by: Acknowledgements
Updated: 18 January 2007

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