The 2019 Bela Project Roundup
Our favourite community projects from the past year
It’s that time of the year to look back and take stock of everything that has happened. 2019 was a rollercoaster ride for us at Bela HQ, but this is nothing in comparison to how busy the makers in the Bela community have been! In this post we’ll take a sample of some of the most exciting projects built by the Bela community in 2019. Happy new year!
New Developments in 2019
From the refreshed position of the early days of a new decade it is worth briefly remembering everything that happened in the world of Bela in 2019. In September we launched our successful Kickstarter campaign for Trill Touch Sensors which we’ll be delivering soon; in October the new IDE with p5.js support and library integration was released; in May we launched the Pepper DIY Eurorack module; in April Csound integration with Bela was announced.
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.
2019 Bela Project Roundup
Sonic Circuit Sculptures
The ever-brilliant educator, writer and artist Helen Leigh has created a series of sonic circuit sculptures which experiment with sound in combination with freeform, organic-looking electronics. Helen has been experimenting extensively with our new Trill sensors and also wrote a fantastic feature on Bela and Beaglebone in Hackspace magazine’s December edition.
On the Division of a String
On the Division of a String (2019) is a six-channel installation-performance for monochord, Bela and loudspeakers by Dublin-based artist and composer Nicholas Brown. This minimal instrument-composition brings beat frequencies, medieval tuning systems and superparticular proportions together with great effect.
Mika Satomi from Kobakant has created an interactive blanket that uses Bela with e-Textile sensors. She made a crochet blanket with exposed conductive pieces so one can use skin resistance to play music by touching different parts of the blanket.
The Chowndolo, created by Giacomo Lepri & Alessia Milo, is an interactive sonic sculpture based on a magnetic pendulum whose trajectories are altered by magnets placed underneath the device. This creates unstable patterns of oscillation which are translated into synthesis parameters and sound.
Alberto Novello created an beautiful audio-visual installation using a Vectrex games console and the high quality and low latency analog outputs from the Bela board. The result is a perfectly synchronised synesthetic experience which uses sound to modulate the blue beam of a cathodic ray monitor.
Ganesh: Probability-based Eurorack Sequencer
Ganesh is a probability-based hardware sequencer created by Jon Pigrem. The sequencer uses Bela and the Multiplexer Capelet and is built for the Eurorack modular format providing varied and exciting rhythmic patterns.
Towards Disabled Artist-led Music Technology
In August Charles Matthews gave us an incredible manifesto for his work in accessibility, education and musical instrument design. Above is a video of the Kellycaster, created in collaboration with John Kelly, which he speaks about at length in the post.
(Anti)Voice Loop: the Sound of Propaganda
(Anti)Voice Loop is an interactive sound installation created by Philip Liu and Freddie Taewoo Hong, inspired by the aesthetic and functional aspects of propaganda speakers and by what it means to have a voice and what it means to lose it.
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 2020 and to all the Bela projects to come!