The 2020 Bela Project Roundup
The best community projects of the past year
Happy new year from the Bela team. Bring on 2021! In this post we’re going to keep our heads up and focus on all the positives of 2020 by taking a sample of some of the most exciting projects built by the Bela community throughout the year.
2020 for the Bela Team
We could have never have imagined all the challenges and changes that 2020 would bring about and we truly hope that everyone is staying safe and well. Throughout 2020 we’ve been fortunate to be able to continue working from home without too much disruption. We’ve been working hard developing new tools and educational materials to help makers and artists realise their projects. Here is a brief summary of the key events in the Bela 2020 calendar:
- April: launched our Youtube lecture series C++ Real-Time Audio Programming with Bela
- May: launched our knowledge base learn.bela.io
- June: delivered our Trill Kickstarter rewards
- July: sponsored NIME 2020 with prizes and funding for 20 registrations for underrepresented voices
- September: e-textiles tutorial by Becky Stewart
- December: launched our Pure Data + Bela tutorial
As busy as we’ve been, we have nothing on the Bela community of makers, musicians, artists, designers, researchers, tinkerers and engineers from all over the world. The projects this community creates, from interactive installations to instruments, synthesisers to sound sculptures, never fail to amaze us. We remain in awe and deeply humbled to be part of this community and to give people the tools they need to create such inspiring and beautiful work.
2020 Bela Project Roundup
Here is just a sample of the incredible projects that were created using Bela in 2020.
The Book of Knowledge of Impractical Musical Devices
Yann Seznec introduced us to the Book of Knowledge of Impractical Musical Devices. This series of three musical devices are each guided by very specific rules which encourage players to reflect on their listening experience. Yann used Bela in a couple of them including in his auto-destructive work, Volume 3: Everything You Love Will One Day Be Taken From You.
Hacking the Five-String Banjo
Jonathan Reus did a residency with us in London at the Augmented Instruments Lab in late 2019 to work on his augmented Appalachian banjo. The banjo brings together prototype Trill sensors, magnetic sensing and Bela to create a truly unique instrument.
A Vocal Effects Unit For Kids
Kyle Reiff gave us a detailed build guide for his inspiring project to create a voice changer and effects unit for his 4 year-old niece. In his post he takes from the inspiration for this project to its realisation in both hardware and software.
Scatter: towering rotating sound sculptures
Scatter is a series of 4-meter-tall rotating sound sculptures created by a team of artists and creative technologists at Griffith university in Australia. These immense solar-powered structures scatter sound in all directions via the speakers attached to either end of the rotating bar.
Ambulation - Extended Soundwalking with Bela
Tim Shaw introduced us to his series of soundwalks, Ambulation, in a post in December. During these sound walks the urban soundscape is manipulated in real time and in real space to create a parallel sound track.
The Daïs: A Haptically Enabled Electronic Instrument
The daïs is an open source new electronic instrument created by Pelle Christensen which integrates physical modelling and haptic feedback into a new instrument with an identity all of its own.
The KeyWi: an accessible electronic wind instrument
The KeyWI is an expressive and accessible electronic wind instrument based on the design of the melodica created by Matthew Caren, Romain Michon, and Matt Wright. In his post Matthew talks us through its design and build.
SnoeSky: an ambient light-sensitive installation
SnoeSky is an ambient light-sensitive installation designed by Andreas Förster and Christina Komesker which turns the ceiling of a multisensory relaxation room into an interactive night sky where the constellations ring out with sound.
What are you working on?
When we created Bela we couldn’t have imagined the breadth of applications, installations, instruments, inventions and interventions that Bela would be part of. We love to hear about what you’re working on, and regularly feature projects on our blog. If you’d like to share your project, please get in touch and tell us all about it.
Here’s to 2021 and to all the Bela projects to come!