Sound Swarm : An interactive spatial music installation
Sound Swarm is a sort of musical game which introduces the participant to various aspects of electronic spatial music in a novel and intuitive manner. The sound swarm of the title consists of a number of individual tones which fly around the participant as a cohesive group, using an algorithm called Boids which replicates the complex motion of flocks of birds or shoals of fish.
Although the motion of each individual sound is therefore algorithmically controlled, the swarm as a whole follows a target point which the participant can move by making gestures with a Nintendo Wii controller.
The goal of the game is to fly the swarm to the centre of the loudspeaker array by moving the target point and listening to the changing position of the swarm. When the target point (and hence the swarm) reaches the centre of the array, a synthesized musical chord is heard. The installation therefore develops the participant’s awareness of their ability to hear spatially and introduce them to many of the techniques and processes associated with contemporary electronic spatial music.