A Frame That Listens

The incredibly talented Pem Lasota, Aram Ebtekar and I put together a small project to enhance the music experience in our living room.

What ensued is the first of many projects we plan to roll out - all focused on building the greatest living-room music experience in the world.

The setup involves 4096 LEDs arranged in a matrix, powered by a raspberry pi and a beefy condenser mic. The electronics fit into a 3D printed case. Pem did a significant chunk of this in Solidworks - a piece of software I was extremely impressed with. In one of the sessions, I was able to make reasonable headway with mild supervision. Few pieces of software are this easy to pick up. Solidworks have done a solid job.

Fresh out of the 3d printer

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and when everything is put together, it looks like this:

Step 2

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The frame listens via the condenser mic and generates beautiful visualizations when it “hears” audio. This is what happens when we blast Pavarotti on our music system:

#Pavarotti's incredible range on our #raspberrypi powered picture frame

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A neutrino effect to Flume's Hyperparadise:

#whenthebassdrops @flumemusic hyper paradise

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The Matrix effect when the bass drops:

When the bass drops

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The Rothko

No. 14 at SF Moma

For over five centuries the Sistine Chapel ceiling has been among the greatest things man has produced. I would give two limbs for a magnum opus of its caliber.

In contrast, the first time I saw a Rothko in my early teens, I concluded that this was the outcome of giving a child with severe OCD a set of crayons.

Over the last few weeks, amidst a very tough and frustrating period (this is far too complex for this one post) in my life, I had a chance to reflect on one of Rothko’s signature pieces and study the underlying process through a MOMA video [1]. I felt a new sense of respect for Rothko’s works. A Rothko is quite literally a metaphor for life. Our visible exterior is the product of several layers that comprise our experiences.

Rothko had a famous quote:

The people who weep before my pictures are having the same religious experience I had when I painted them.

It took eight years for me to have this experience. I am better off for it.

[1] The Painting Techniques of Mark Rothko: No. 16 (Red, Brown, and Black)


Disco Rectangles

I was playing with quil recently (got a project planned which I will speak about later) and managed to throw this together in a short while:

Clojure source available here.



Per Intellectum, Vis
(c) Shriphani Palakodety 2013-2016