S I L H O U E T T E   V I S I T
audiovisual participation installation

"Between ornament and music persist direct connections, which means that Ornaments are Music"
(Oscar Fischinger, "Sounding Ornaments", 1932.)
Optical sound inspired artists like Oscar Fischinger, Norman Mc Laren, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and others. In the 1930s, Edwin Welte built a optical sound organ.
But all these works missed one music/sound-imanent element:
Sound in real time.

SILHOUETTE VISIT offers an easy to understand, intuitive, inspiring and playful instrument for (exibition-) visitors to create sound, melody and rhythms by movement, dance and gesture. The use and combination with the visual camera stream creates a realtime mutlimedia experience.

In the early 1990s, 22-year-old music- and experimental film-addicted Johannes Pit Przygodda got on the optical soundtrack: As a student for experimental film and animation he glued curtains on 35 mm blankfilm material, on the picture frame and on the soundtrack area. So, due to their repetetive structure, the curtains dance and flicker on the screen while creating notes and rythms on the optical soundtrack. Since then Przygodda had the dream to play the optical soundtrack as a musical instrument - in real time. He wanted to get "into the wave". But it took decades until he (and the availlable technical apparatus) were able to transfer visual data live into sound. In 2014 he built a first prototype version of this new instrument. Soon friends and collegues pointed out the attractive and inspiring sensual connection between vision and sound. So Przygodda develloped his SILHOUETTE-synthesizer not only for creating sounds and rhythms but also for multimedia-installations and performances that use both, sound and vision. SILHOUETTE VISIT (installation) is the first variation of the SILHOUETTE-music-synthesizer-concept that invites visitors to create their own real time optical sound via gesture, movement, dance or via playing with every day objects like fork, rake or badminton racket.

How does it work?:
SIHOUETTE VISIT constists of a webcam, a computer, a software and a musical instrument amplifier. When a "visitor" enters the area in front of the machine, a webcam streams the movement and silhouette of the visitor. This picture stream is analysed and the structure of bright and dark is transferred into a stream of waveforms, which are read as a vivid audio waves. Now the shapes and movement has become sound! And the visitor controls the sound. In a second stage, SILHOUETTE VISIT reads the current waveform in a slower tempo to transfer the data into rhythm and melody, which are also controlled by the visitor.

supported by:
Film - und Mediengesellschaft, Niedersachsen / Bremen mbH