The Sonic Landscape

Carbon Composition (first public viewing)

Posted on | March 19, 2011 | No Comments










Due to a busy period in university over the past couple of months I’ve not had much time to update this blog, however things have been progressing well and a few days ago I finally installed my Carbon Composition project in a public space!! The project was shown along with many others students work as part of the official opening of the new University of Wales, City Campus (located in Newport).

It was quite a nerve racking experience to place my ‘Carbon Composition’ project in a public space and I definitely learned a great deal on how i can maybe improve aspects of the project. Overall though, I gained a lot of valueable feedback from the many people who tested it out!

Here is a quick summary of my progress:

I’ve redesigned the max/msp interface and have also built an arduino controlled interactive map, which allow users to control the volumes of the energy consumption (audible sound) for each of the locations on the map. (I must thank Matt and Wayne from the university woodwork department and also Kim from the electronics lab for the help they gave me whilst constructing the map).

Have also been testing out 6 Current Cost IAM devices (thanks to Elliot at Current Cost) which allow for the monitoring of individual electrical appliances around the home. The devices allow data to be sent via a wireless connection to my CC128 Current Cost meter and I’ve adapted the Max/Msp patch to combine the 6 values as a total.

As mentioned in my earlier blog posts, I’m currently planning to use the Current Cost devices in a musical performance, allowing members of the public to see and hear real-time electricity consumption as I interact with appliances on stage. All of the data is being sent via and then sent to Max/Msp.

Have been testing out the devices with various appliances, such as a household fan which results in various musical frequencies depending on which power level is being used (Low/Mid/High). Will be testing out more ideas over the forthcoming month.

Shown below is a screenshot of the updated redesign of the Max/Msp interface (click image for larger view)


Huge thanks to my good friend Leigh Davies (pictured top) for being one of the first people to test out the Carbon Composition installation! (Thanks Leigh!)  Please check out his incredible Rayne Project (which uses an arduino to convert musical notes into coloured drops of oil), here is a link to his blog

Also, i would like to thank Pachube for adding my Pach2Max (max/msp patch) to their app repository. The app allows max/msp users to send pachube data into max/msp. I’m very grateful for Pachube to host the app, which is available to download at (scroll down).

Finally, I would like to thank Steve from Beepscore for letting me beta test his Pachube app ‘Hubscape’, which is now available to download from the Apple app store!


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