BottleBeat

BottleBeat is a one minute piece inspired by John Cage that explores the acoustic properties of different materials – creating a rhythm with alternating glass pitches. A rotating arm creates base melodies as it strikes the different bottles placed around it. Each performance is uniquely composed as performers alter the objects interacted with and the order in which they are brought in to the beat. In addition to the rotating arm, several other instruments make up this sound ecosystem including:

Metallic Foil Speakers:

Speakers with metallic foil as their diaphragm were created to produce a thunderous rattle. Electromagnetism, strong neodymium magnets and copper coils were used to create this effect.

Piezo mics:

Three piezo contact mics were attached to different materials to augment their subtle sounds. The first mic was attached to the metallic base of a cup to make audible the gushing of water and clashing of small objects. The second piezo was used as an input mechanism to operate the metallic foil speakers. The third piezo was fixed around the rotary mechanism, creating the base beat of the system.

Through these experiments, a stronger understanding of sound capturing, amplification and reproduction techniques developed. Several versions of fabricated speakers were built and tested out to select the ones with the best acoustic properties. These experiments also allowed for an in depth exploration of conductive materials such as threads, paints, and resistance varying polymers that can be used in sound production systems.