Back to Blog

Celestial Harmonies by Alberto Novello: Sound Tracing

Posted in Projects Hardware Instruments

Celestial Harmonies is an audiovisual installation which uses sound to modulate the blue beam of a cathodic ray monitor.

Cathode Rays and Sound Tracing

Alberto Novello created this installation using a Vectrex games console and the high quality and low latency analog outputs from the Bela board. The result is a beautiful and perfectly synchronised synesthetic experience. In the below paragraphs Alberto explains his approach to creating this piece.

In a world that quickly forgets the past I went back in time to the era of analog technologies to scavenge and resurrect what’s been left behind. They call it “Media Archaeology”: brushing off the dust from old tools from a civilisation that has hastily jumped into the digital world and left behind forgotten ghosts. These tools have strong personalities: they show a unique fluidity compared to their digital successors.

In Celestial Harmonies I have hacked a Vectrex, a game console from the 80s, to bring it back to life as a hybrid zombie: half analog, half digital. I chose it for its vibrant beam and I hacked it so that I could draw shapes with sound. I tell a story about spatial geometries and harmonic ratios with light and sound perfectly synchronised in a simple but powerful synesthetic discourse.

About Alberto Novello

Alberto Novello (JesterN) is an Italian scientist, composer and multimedia artist. His main focus is the creation of probabilistic multi-media architectures, on the technological limit between instability and error, failure and expression. His works have been presented at Centre Pompidou in Paris, BoCA- Biennial of Contemporary Arts, Amsterdam Dance Event, New York Computer Music Festival, Seoul Computer Music Festival. He is currently a teacher of Electronic Music at the Conservatory of Padua.


Bela is an open-source platform for ultra-low latency audio and sensor processing. Find out more on our website, buy Bela at our shop, follow us on twitter, instagram or join our community and discuss this post on our forum.

Read Next

Magpick: an Augmented Guitar Pick for Nuanced Control