Hakan Lidbo, Per-Olov Jernberg and Johan Eriksson
A multidimensional instrument for 4 musicians and at the same time a non-linear strategic board game for 4 players. Music improvisation and strategic thinking merge. A project not for humans of today, but for the humans we will become.
Mathrix is a complex modular synthesizer and a strategic board game for 4 players.
The musical instrument:
3 synthesizers controlled by one 8x8 matrix patch board each and 3 sequencers in 8x4 steps each.
The players have 8 blocks each, 7 ”pawns” where 3 sides control one connection in the matrix for 3 different synthesizers, 4 different values depending on how the block is twisted. The other 3 sides control the sequencers of each synthesizer, but the sequencer is not linear but change direction every 8 steps, meaning that one block put down will create 4 notes in the 32 bars. 4 different volumes depending how the block is twisted.
Each player also have one ”queen” that control master values like loop length, scale, time signature etc.
Each block has a 5x5 pixel code printed. These code are detected by the built-in camera inside the instrument - but they also determine the moving properties of each block/piece. Black pixel indicates where a piece can move in relation to its current position. When a pice is moved, the player can twist and turn it so it gets the desired moving properties, but also the desired musical effect. The topic of the game is to take the opponents pieces but as there are 4 players, pacts and diplomacy becomes a part of the game.
Individual aesthetic choices becomes the structure and narrative of an interesting live performance; to interact and listen to the other players, to feel the tensions and dynamics. In a strategic game, the players also have to observe and adapt to the each other, think ahead and make strategic choices. This project ask the question; can these two phenomenas be merged into one? Can strategic and aesthetic thinking happen simultaneously? Can humans adapt 2 different mindsets at the same time? Can even a strategic move be a well balanced musical choice?
The big question:
What happens if we design games, tools and musical instruments that are not for us humans as we are - but for the humans we might become. Matrix is an very complex game and a very complex musical instrument. And even if you master one of these aspects, it’s still overwhelmingly challenging to master the game and the music at the same time.
Luckily it sounds great no matter what you do - and the game is fun even if you just trust your luck and leave out strategic thinking.
The sound engine is designed by Johan Ericsson, working on his PhD in software modular synthesis at the University in Bristol.
The interaction is programmed by Per-Olov Jernberg, developer at Spotify and freelance creative technologist.
The game structure is designed by Hakan Lidbo, artist, musician and inventor.
development, programming, design, hardware building. €4000
the projekct will be open source. the music enginge is made in pure data and a system developed by johan ericsson at bristol university, free for anyone to downlaod and develop: http://www.monologx.com/xodular/
Congratulations! You've stumbled upon something special. This Drone Visions is where drones dreams together.