Opera Looper (2009)
iPods, Animata software, sound card
Built on our previous experience from the “MobileJam” project, “Opera Looper” creates a collective musical experience by controlling musical loops using four iPods. “Opera Looper” is a combination of two software tools: a sample-based sound system written in Pure Data, and a real-time animation system created in Animata. “Opera Looper” made its debut at the Opera Unbound event, organized in cooperation with Samu Gryllus, Brooklyn Museum and Extremely Hungary.
The system consists of a server computer that connects four iPod Touches that act as remote controllers. Certain keys and key combinations can start, stop, and change different parameters of pre-composed sample-loops. One user can control four different samples at the same time. The created music can contain a maximum of 16 musical layers. The audio composition technique recalls the work of Mozart or Haydn, as used in their musical dice games.
The projection part of the installation consists of four scenes created in Animata, reacting to the sound in realtime. Four people can use the system. The chosen scene is projected onto the canvas. Each scene contains four characters, or groups of characters. Each of the users gets an iPod with the appropriate character on the screen. After they start making music with the iPods, the characters on the canvas follow their parts, as dictated by the music.
There are four scenes: a Lehár-style musical comedy, a baroque chamber opera, a romantic opera, and American minimal music.