An interactive application to control the musical installation GREENSOUNDS


GREENSOUNDS is a musical installation presented in museums and art galleries.
It is an interactive declination of ANIMOTS that operates in a sustainable manner since December 2000 at Gerland Park in Lyon .
This is a sound system that appears to come from green vegetal space of the Park. A sound and spatial strategy are calculated as a random schedule; the result is released under computer control from 16 loudspeakers. The compositions are performed at different times from three kinds of sounds. A first type is characterized by natural sounds that can be heard in parks, gardens, countryside as sounds of birds, small animals, water, wind … In this case of mimesis it becomes difficult to distinguish them from those naturally existing in the Park. Oppositely, a second category is based on cultural nature sounds as instrumental sounds, voice or synthetic played as such or after sound processing. Such sequences commonly cause to the walker the surprise of an unusual noise situation in a park, in opposition to the idea of a natural sound signature. A third type is developed from ambiguous sounds between nature and culture. This one interrogates and provoke a shift in the perception, sometimes on one side, then the other.

Partial view of the installation ANIMOTS at the Parc de Gerland - Lyon - France

Unlike ANIMOTS that exists and lives his life in a micro-world, fully independent living with the Park, GREENSOUNDS is an interactive installation in part influenced by the listening visitor. A first gestural interface between the visitor and the device consisted of sensors manipulated by it which each emit geometric situations of information, speed, acceleration ...

Views of the old installation using covered sensors in cubes

In this new version, the smartphone is the gestural interface. The information from the smartphone act both on the compositional and spatial strategies described above and create new events whose type, spatiality, velocity are interpreted from the actions of the manipulator-visitor

A visual echo of Gerland Park is proposed in parallel, from a video of a green and colorful atmosphere. The installation takes place in an indoor space from 6 points sound diffusion:

Two views of the video

Design, music and video Pierre-Alain Jaffrennou
Support and Engineering:
Christophe Lebreton, Dominique Fober and Stephane Letz


GREENSOUNDS installation

The music and video parts of the GREENSOUNDS are managed by several computer-controlled software. The computer calculates musical sequences with a duration of 6 minutes that are played in real time. At the end of a sequence a new sequence is calculated and played after a delay of several seconds. A sequence consists of a compositional strategy (type of sound, type of musical organization, type of spatiality ...) whose sonic result is played immediately on 6 laoudspeakers. Each sequence has two modes (mode A and mode B). The installation operates independently or interactively. In the interactive case, up to five musical and spatial parameters can be controlled by the user. These parameters are numerous and their meaning varies according to the sequences. They are organized in two groups blue and purple. A visual echo of the controlled parameters appears on the projection screen of the video as sliders with their names and their values as shown in the picture below:

Representation of parameters monitored on the projection screen (sensor version).

Greensounds for smartphone

The application greensounds allows users to take control of GREENSOUNDS' installation in real time by using their own smartphone.
User management is as follows:

  • If no user launches the greensounds application, sequences succeed each other in an autonomous way.
  • If a user launches the greensounds application he can monitor the progress of the music with the computer and the computer stops playing as soon as the user play and restart when the user does not play.

Communication between Computer and Smartphone is running via WiFi.
The presence of multiple users is managed through a queue.
A message WAIT will be delivered to the user on pending. Pending users will be allowed to play in turn.

Representation of parameters monitored on the projection screen (smartphone version).


Interactive control

The interface of the greensounds application allows real time control of up to 5 parameters of GREENSOUNDS' application according the type of sequence in progress
The name and values of the monitored parameters are displayed on the video display screen:

These representations (blue and purple) match the 'greensounds' application interface:

The blue parameters are controlled by the two blue sliders on the application and are still active. The purple parameters represented by purple buttons are active only if the button is ON. The user can enable one or more buttons as desired. If a button is OFF its last value is frozen. The three purple buttons respectively deliver: the left smartphone rotation angle around the y-axis (negative values,) the right rotation angle of the smartphone around the y-axis (positive values)and the smartphone rotation angle around the x-axis

Values issued by the 3 purple buttons by pressing the name Mode A (or Mode B) we change the play mode from A to B and vice versa

Explanation of parameters

The blue left slider (space) control the size of the audio space through convolution reverb. The blue right slider control a musical setting that can change according to the sequences. Most often it is the number of events triggered by a gesture. The three purple buttons control different musical or spatial parameters following sequences: type of sound, sound duration, number of speakers, tone, rhythm .... Note: according to the sequences from 0 to 3 purple buttons are displayed.


Next exhibition

The next exhibitions GREENSOUNDS installation will be

•from 25 August to 23 october 2016 at: Total museum of contemporary art
465-16 Pyeongchang-dong, Jongno-gu,
Seoul, Korea (110-848)

•from 10 September to 23 october 2016 at: L'attrape-couleurs
Mairie Annexe Place Henri Barbusse
69009 Lyon (tel (33) 04 72 19 73 86

•from 17 november 2016 to 27 januar 2017 - Santagio Chili

May June and July 2017 - Shanghai

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