Installation 2011

Concept : Aernoudt Jacobs
Coproduction : STUK, Overtoon
Electronics : Techdesign
With the support of the Flemish Community Commission (VGC)
Thanks : Alexandra Dementieva, Stijn Demeulenaere, Eveline Lambrechts

Glaz-Maton is a personal data sonification instrument.

The musical box is an exceptional instrument. The typical sound of the instrument has a very strong connotation and is often used/perceived in our culture as a reference to childhood. It is a toy we bring from our childhood and can easily generate memories from the past. It is part of us and the collective memory.
I am also fascinated by the technologies of the musical box. For example, the box around the mechanics of the instrument is used as a hedge to amplify sounds in a natural way without electronics. It is an acoustic resonator. By removing the 'box' it is interesting to perceive how different this instrument can sound. Using other different materials as a resonator demonstrates how sound and the physical properties of materials directly affect each other.

The Glaz-Maton comprises of several prepared musical boxes and a specially designed tool for data recognition. The mechanics of the music boxes was modified. A motor is used to drive each muscial box. and the comb has been stripped so that there is just one note per music box playing. Each music box has been prepared to sound differently. A mini version of Cage's "prepared pianos".

The melody is unique for each visitor, because they are a sonorous synthesis of a biometric snapshot of the visitor. Glaz-Maton is a 'personal' instrument. It registers in an objective manner the subjective state of mind of the beholder. The tool that captures the physiologic data, is an instrument that was specially designed and fits ergonomically in the hand of the visitor.
The snapshot that is taken registers 3 attributes of the visitor; colors of the iris, the heartbeat rate and the humidity of the hands. This data is synthesized into unique melody. The iris reader determines the pitch of notes, a tool for tracking the heartbeat rate modifies the tempo, the humidity sends the pauses between the notes.