Artist: John Klima, United States,

0.0/5 rating (0 votes)

Glasbead is a multi-user persistant collaborative musical interface allowing players to manipulate and exchange sound sample files and create a myriad of soundscapes and rhythmic musical sequences. Current bandwidth allows as many as 20 people to play glasbead at the same time. The entire structure can be spun by flinging the ball at the core with a click and drag motion. Each "stem" can be flung individually around this core. The "bell" or "flower" stems each have a sample sound file attached (click on a file in the list on the right, then click on a "bell" stem inside glasbead). when a hammer stem comes in contact with a bell stem, the sample plays. The volume of the sample can be set by spinning its ring (near the core, click and drag). The pitch of the sample can be set with the same ring, hold down the keyboard "Z" key. Press and hold the space bar to bring the entire structure to a stop.

Editor's Critique

Its a unique interface and while engaging, its also tricky. You have to interrupt the hammer, stopping it, to change the tone. Since the music is created by multiple ongoing collisions, you don't necessarily feel in control. As a plaything for multiple users, a place to create music in real time with others, it opens a number of cool possibilities for online virtual interaction.

The core interactive mechanics have potential, perhaps for even something as straightforward as a DJ turntable where music is controlled and/or mixed in 360 degrees. Lastly, John's development process was very interesting, He started with comical, Dr Seuss-like instruments. Over time he simplified the comic side and focused the native 3D interactive behavior of rotation around a pivot point. Its such an elegant solution that generates complex musical rhythms.

Technology Used

Sense 8

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