2021 Rewind

2021 Rewind

A showcase of some of the best community projects from the past year

Another one bites the dust! Happy new year from all of us in the Bela team – we hope 2022 will bring great things. In this post we’re going to revisit some of the highlights of 2021 by taking a sample of just a handful of the incredible projects built by the Bela community throughout the year.

The Year 2021 in Bela Projects

The Bela blog has been on fire this year with scores of new instruments, installations and exhibitions from the Bela community around the world. Here’s a quick look through some of the highlights. Be sure to check out earlier posts on the blog for many more projects and for much more information about those listed below.

Bela featured on a Grammy Award Winning Album!

Bela ended up on stage with Snarky Puppy and on their Grammy Award winning album: Live at the Royal Albert Hall. This is all thanks to Steven Kruyswijk who created the Benderbox for their keyboardist Bobby Sparks with a Bela Mini inside.

Click here to read all about the Grammy Award winning album and to see Bobby Sparks performing with it.

Transforming the human voice into birdsong

The Bird Translator was created by Marylou, a french sound and electronic artist who is passionate about ecology, electronics and DIY cultures. With the Bird Translator she has created a sound machine which takes the human voice in and transform it into birdsong. This was built using Pure Data and a Bela Mini.

Click here to find out how it was made.

Neod Microtonal Instrument

Neod, created by Erik Natanael Gustafsson, is a musical instrument which explores the mathematical structures of harmony through the division of the octave into 53 equal parts, creating a tonality which sounds at once ancient and fresh to the ears. This was built with a Bela Mini inside.

Click here to read all about Erik’s work.

Audio Igloo: A shelter for homeless loudspeakers

Audio Igloo gives a home to hundreds of discarded loudspeakers to create a place of intimate listening and reflection on the ever-advancing march of consumption. This interactive installation was created by Paul Biessmann and Benoît Maubrey.

Click here to read all about this project.

Prism Bell Oversized Instrument

Prism Bell was created by Lia Mice. The design of this huge and modular instrument explores the effect of size on musical gesture. The instrument consists of numerous tubes which can be reassembled to create a number of different, but always very large, forms.

Click here to read all about Prism Bell.

PRP Voyager: Performing with Pseudo Random Pulses

PRP Voyager is an electronic musical instrument developed by Fedde ten Berge & Ward Slager which allows performers to investigate the rhythmical relationship between pulse and randomness.

Click here to read about this wonderful instrument.

Knitted Interactive Mobile

Suspended Circles is an interactive sonic installation which was designed and built by Tove Grimstad Bang during the autumn of 2020. This human-sized hanging mobile of concentric circles integrates custom knitted sensors with Bela and Trill to explore music–movement interactions.

Click here to read all about the project.

Infinite Scroll and the Icons of Digital Life

Created for the National Ethnographic Museum in Warsaw by new media art and design collective panGenerator, the exhibition ICONS is a deep exploration of the daily rituals that make up our digital lives. Our Trill Craft was used by panGenerator to create the infinite scroll installation.

Click here to read all about the project.

2021 for the Bela Team

Last year saw our 5 year birthday alongside the launch of two new Bela products!

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. Thank you all for your amazing work.

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 2022 and to all the Bela projects to come!