Monday Musings: Masary Studios

Masary Studios' Sound Sculpture interactive light and sound installation
(Aram Boghosian) Masary Studios' Sound Sculpture

Masary Studios in Boston, MA, is a multi-disciplinary collective of artists that creates one-of-a-kind experiences where visuals and sound intersect. Each project is built individually, comprising such elements as original music, video projection mapping, interactivity, and sometimes even live performance. In other words, they are doing some really cool stuff!

Ryan Edwards, who lent the RY to Masary, was one of the founders of the group in 2015. He will be a featured speaker at LDI2019, with the session titled “The Intersection of Light, Sound & Interactivity,” in which he will examine the intersection of interactivity, sound and light, as he discusses his studio’s practice, their thoughts on interactivity, as well as their latest work, Sound Sculpture—a 25-cube location-aware interactive musical/light sculpture.

Ryan Edwards credit Robert Torres canvas.jpg

Luckily for attendees at XLIVE and LDIEdwards will be bringing Sound Sculpture with him, and it will be seen as an installation throughout the week of XLIVE and LDI2019—November 18-24 in Las Vegas. The 25 location-aware blocks comprise a massive, wireless MIDI controller. Various sound and light scores are realized in cooperation with the public through creative play.

“Thanks to recent innovations in accurate positioning and wireless transmission protocols, an expressive, spatial musical instrument was possible, and we are the studio to have invented, created, developed, and are showing this work,” says Edwards.

“A major innovation in group music making and interactive design, the piece allows participants to actually ‘pick up a note’ and move it, higher on the y-axis for example to raise its pitch, or to the left or right on the x-axis to change the note's place in rhythm,” Edwards adds. “Participants can literally see musical chords, create melodies by aligning the cubes in 3-dimensional space, and program rhythms using intuition and physical distance as reference points. These activities are socially inspiring, bringing people into a generative, creative activity.”

Far beyond being a new technical artwork, Sound Sculpture is an instrument. As the guitar or the synthesizer is an instrument, their inventors do not define their possibilities, their uses or scope of creative applications. As the work is an "instrument," it is flexible—there is no finishing it. It needs the public (or collaborative artists such as dancers) to engage with the cubes to move them and creatively impact the sequence of notes played back by the custom software system. 

The work recently was awarded a US Patent as a "Location Aware Musical Instrument" and has been showing in the US for nearly three years. In January 2019, the work underwent a complete redesign in hardware and software, incorporating a refinement of position data through machine learning and all new controlling software. 

We are very excited to welcome Edwards and Sound Sculpture to Las Vegas!

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