Sonic Tapestry (2007/09)

This piece resulted from a collaboration with the Topological Media Lab (TML) and XS lab of Concordia University. Sonic Tapestry is the composition and sound/interaction design by Doug Van Nort for the instrument known simply as the Tapestry (or Sensate Tapestry), created in the context of the WYSIWYG project, with Electronics by David Gauthier and Elliot Sinyor (TML) and tapestry weaving by Marguerite Bromley (XS).

Sensate Tapestry is a 20′ x 6′ ornate fabric created from conductive thread, which senses human proximity and touch. For this piece, Van Nort exploited the very volatile and nonlinear nature of the design in order to compose an interaction that changed depending on the nature of one’s touch, where gestures such as bunching, rubbing and lightly stroking all led to different sound worlds. The energy and number of inter-actors also defined the complexity of the sound evolution over time.

Below is a video that demonstrates the responsiveness of the piece and the reaction to different gestures, and then moves on to a situation in which the presence of more hands direct the piece into a different state, wherein the tapestry exhibits more life and complexity

This piece was first shown at the Remedios Terrarium gallery show (2007) at Concordia University, and later at the International Computer Music Conference (2009).