Celestial Harmonies

Celestial Harmonies

An audio-visual installation built with Bela

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.