Nicole Aptekar

2010 / Syzygryd

"Syzygryd is a town square for the collaborative creation of music. It’s a public space, it’s a sculpture, and it’s a professional musical instrument. It’s the most beautiful expression we can imagine of the joy we take in community, music, technology, fire, sculpture and architecture.

Three large custom hardware grid sequencers. Each controls a single instrument and they share a clock, so they’re all synchronized. By controlling time, pitch, and harmony, these devices make it easy for people with no musical training or talent to create melodious compositions.

The consoles are arranged at three equidistant points around a 60′ diameter circle, far enough apart that the participants can see one another but can’t communicate verbally. Each console reflects the state of the others. Three people collaboratively create a continuously evolving piece of music without communicating, except through the music itself.

The center of the circle is a music visualizer made manifest: a huge metal tornado of cubes, pulsing with synchronized sound, light, and fire."

My roles on Syzygryd:

  • Initial concept & main modeler
  • Co-designer (w/ the 3-member design team)
  • Grantwriting and financial strategy
  • Software & electronics prototyping
  • Courted corporate sponsorship
  • Interface design
  • Leadership role with 100+ team members
  • CNC machining
  • Designed accurate CAD-to-part strategy for large (60' diameter) installation
  • Flame effects design consultation
  • Custom hardware design
  • Lighting sequencer consultation
  • High-level coordination of software, electrical, lighting, sound, music, logistics teams

Images by Kristen Ankiewicz, Dan Garcia, and Starfive.

Video by Joachim Pedersen

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