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The Singing Tree

The Singing Tree was our interactive soundscape garden at the RHS Hampton Court show in 2013.

This featured original artwork by Martin Bush and glass/resin pyramids created by Tim Potts.

More information on the garden can be found at August Garden Designs.

The sound system comprised four Bose all-weather speakers (FreeSpace 360P series 2) and a Bose digital mixer amplifier (FreeSpace DXA 2120), made available by Bose UK.

An extract from the soundscape can be played using the controls on the right of the screen.  At the show the music was created using our software engine in real-time, in other words the software knew how to play, and was provided with a few hints, but wasn't told what to play.

We were able to interact with the soundscape using two infra-red sensors mounted on the deck, but a new feature we were demonstrating was the ability to interact wirelessly using an OSC app running on iOS or Android devices.  OSC is similar to MIDI, but more flexible in many respects.  The app basically operates as a remote control over wifi, and we then added the capability to allow OSC connections into our software.  The final part was to configure our sotfware to interpret the OSC messages in the ways we required.

The Singing Tree at night

Another new feature we demonstrated was the ability to control lighting using our software.  Since the software generates the music and controls the lights this produces an integrated experience where the music and lights tie together - does the music create the lighting, or do the lights create the music?  (Neither really, but that was the illusion we were aiming for).

Since within the software the sensors, apps and even its own generative processes are treated in exactly the same way, anyone triggering the sounds could also trigger the lights.

Pyramid and tree

Additional information