“The Vigo Instrument Cloud” is a truly ambitious project that was developed with our intrepid partners: Namibia Breweries, AdForce Namibia, Cyclone Films, Fly on the Wall, and With Milk.
The concept is best captured in this short description by Director Bryan Little: “The idea was to make a music track from the bodies of the people in the different cities, creating a soundtrack that would be the ‘pulse’ of each city.”
Hirsch & Mann designed, produced, and installed this interactive light, sound and biometric experience. Watch the making of film here.
The cloud is a steel sculpture suspended in the air. Within the cloud are clear acrylic cubes which contain uniquely designed robotic musical instruments including: a series of percussive solenoid hammers mounted to the steel tubes which play the structure itself; a PVC pipe organ which weaves through the structure; Vigo bottle-cap “shaker” curtains; suspended guitar strings played by a rotating guitar picks; and, a tangki steel drum struck by electromechanical hammers. These mic’d and amplified instruments are played by visitors at six input satellite stations on the ground below the cloud. These include: a pressure-sensing dance floor; a voice amplitude sensor; an auto-tuned microphone; a pair of electronic drum pads; a heartbeat sensor; and, a position-mapping soft surface.
At the heart of the system is a tablet application that acts as a mixing desk for the instruments and the people who play them. It maps one input to one instrument and also controls one-to-one soloing versus precomposed patterns per instrument. The musical pattern generation and playback system allow us to easily add new compositions as the installation travels to new cities, and local VJs (Vigo Jockeys) can use the mixing desk to shape the soundscape and can even blend it into their own tracks to create a truly awesome musical experience. All of the music that is created is recorded for playback so visitors can hear and share their creations online with friends and family.
The cloud took six months of design, engineering, and testing before the team installed it for an inspirational “The World Needs More of You” Television Commercial. It is currently providing amazing experiences for new and old Vigo customers while on tour through Southern Africa.