A look back of some of the best community projects from last year
Wow, we’re in February already – how did that happen? The 2022 review is better late than never. As we move into the year of the rabbit, we’re going to revisit some of the highlights of 2022 by taking a sample of a handful of the incredible projects built by the Bela community throughout the year.
The Year 2022 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.
Laser Projections in Nature
This work by Italian artist, Alberto Novello (aka JesterN), who forges analogue light and elemental sound into spellbinding audiovisual performances. In our blog post from last year we focus on his laser projection works which use our Pepper module as part of the setup.
The Intimate Earthquake Archive
The Intimate Earthquake Archive is an interactive wearable artwork consisting of tactile earthquake vests which playback haptic compositions derived from the seismic archive of the Groningen gas fields. Now in its 3rd edition, this work gives the audience a firsthand experience of seismic activity which plays out as vibrations on the surface of their skin.
Fully-featured Eurorack Synth Voice
Matthias Hassel created a DIY modular synth voice with Bela. This feature-packed Eurorack module is the perfect starting point for a modular synth with many sonic possibilities. What’s more, it’s all built on top of a Bela Starter Kit.
Sabbia: Electroacoustic Instrument
Alfredo Ardia talks us through the custom instrument he built for his improvisation duo Sabbia with drummer Vasco Furtado. His live electronics setup includes two fully custom controllers build with Trill sensors and various other components.
Tom Kessler’s Guitar Machine
Tom Kessler is a Berlin-based, Mexican-born, guitarist whose improvisational performances blend jazz, free improvisation and live electronics. In this post we take a look at a wonderful custom guitar pedal he designed, which features an idiosyncratic drum machine, FM synth and various delay-based effects.
Robots for Distant Musicians
The past couple of years of living with a global pandemic has brought around many unexpected changes to the way we live, work and socialise. One of our favourite artists, Yann Seznec, has created a magical and absurd work which makes the most of remote collaboration, allowing people to control robots whose movement only responds to musical notes.
Making Music with Plants
This post features a project by Tim de Wilde who uses Trill Craft to sense touches on a plant’s leaves and branches. The signal are then used to control Ableton and generate interactive visuals which are projected down on to the plant.
Kuplen: Hands-On Physical Modelling
Kuplen (The Dome) is a new digital musical instrument with Bela at its heart. Kuplen was designed by Marco Timossi, Gabriel Gustafsson and Tommy Rushton in Copenhagen and has approachability, simplicity, and tactility at its core. In this post the makers explain how they designed this great looking instrument which has loads of expressive sonic potential.
2022 for the Bela Team
2022 was another exciting year in the Bela team. In August we announced that we are sponsoring our first ever PhD student Teresa Pelinski who is researching AI, embedded computing and musical instruments. Check out our interview with her from last year.
In December we also launched a new Eurorack module and a new generation of Trill touch sensors via Crowd Supply. Ah, now I remember why we are doing the review of 2022 in February! Check it out here.
As busy as we’ve been, we have nothing on the Bela community from all over the world. Thank you all for your amazing work and keep the projects coming.
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 2023 and to all the Bela projects to come! It is going to be a BIG year for Bela, but more on that soon!