Portland Art Museum

Cymatic Triangles

Cymatic Triangles was the pinnacle of work done for Myles de Bastion and CymaSpace by Process. A sound-reactive installation at the Portland Art Museum, it radiated colors from its center based on the frequency and volume of sounds in the room.

By upgrading to the more powerful Teensy microcontroller, we were able to write software that could analyze audio across 256 frequency ranges, as opposed to the 7 frequencies given by the previous hardware. The more powerful processor was able to analyze the audio, calculate color values for the hundreds of LEDs, and stream those values to the hardware at 60 frames per second.

All of this led to an extremely vivid and vibrant display that somehow felt natural. The rice paper blended and softened the light of the individual LEDs. The high framerate and high dynamics of the colors smoothed the visuals. The technology driving the interaction was hidden, giving viewers a suspension of disbelief. Their voices ignited a light that danced across the wall.