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Kaleidoscope Music's video poster

Kaleidoscope Music is a real-time, algorithmic sound installation that transforms everyday sounds into a rich, harmonic soundscape. Read more

Boston, MA Digital Art
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This project was successfully funded on July 21, 2011.

Kaleidoscope Music is a real-time, algorithmic sound installation that transforms everyday sounds into a rich, harmonic soundscape.

Boston, MA Digital Art
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About this project

Kaleidoscope Music is a six-channel, real-time sound installation that we want to present at the Axiom Center for New and Experimental Media in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston later this year.  The piece would create an ambient, evolving sonic space for visitors to the Axiom Center, where we plan to have the installation up for three weeks.  But we need your help to make it happen!

The inspiration for this sound installation is the idea of a kaleidoscope: a device that transforms overlooked or mundane aspects of daily life into something rich, unexpected, and beautiful.  Ambient sound picked up by microphones positioned around the gallery is fractured and re-dispersed by a custom computer program into new and unpredictable patterns.  The Axiom Center is located at the Green Street T station, and as a community and transit hub, it is an ideal place to mount this installation.

Alongside Kaleidoscope Music, we plan to exhibit several prints from my series 29 Giraffes.  These images resulted from applying the same types of algorithms I use in my sound work to visual data; they are structurally quite similar to Kaleidoscope Music.  The source images are photographs of the colorful neon lights of Shanghai’s East Nanjing Road pedestrian corridor, taken during the six years I spent living in China.  Limited edition prints of these images are available to backers of our Kickstarter campaign.

This would be the first time I’m presenting Kaleidoscope Music as originally intended: as a fully immersive, six-channel installation.  Previously, I presented a two-channel version in a show at Beijing’s Today Art Museum, and I’ve presented a live performance version on several occasions.  Even in these scaled back versions, I considered Kaleidoscope Music to be one of my best compositions, so I’m very excited to finally restore the parameter of space to its central position in the structure of the piece with this Axiom exhibition.

Even though the composition and programming of Kaleidoscope Music are complete and all ready to go, there are still many expenses related to this exhibition, for which we are soliciting Kickstarter contributions.  The biggest concern is acquiring the necessary speakers and other equipment to present the installation.  There are also mounting and framing costs associated with the digital prints.  Your generous contribution will help make this presentation of Kaleidoscope Music financially viable!

You can read more technical details about how the piece works on my blog.  Also, check out a performance of the piece from Opensound last February.

Thanks for your attention, and I look forward to welcoming you to Kaleidoscope Music at the Axiom Center later this year.



  • You selected
    Pledge $2 or more

    20 backers

    A custom, one-of-a-kind Kaleidoscope Music MP3. For each individual who contributes at this level, I will hand-generate a unique rendering of the piece, unlike any other! Duration will be at least 1 minute, but the algorithm ultimately decides.

  • You selected
    Pledge $35 or more

    16 backers

    A custom, signed Kaleidoscope Music CD. Each CD is an absolutely unique rendering of the piece, a one-of-a-kind art object in an individually hand-assembled package. No two are alike! Duration of the CD will be around 30 minutes.

  • You selected
    Pledge $125 or more

    1 backer

    A signed, limited edition print from my series 29 Giraffes, which algorithmically reconfigures photographs of neon lights on Shanghai's East Nanjing Road pedestrian corridor. For more information, visit Prints are 16" x 16" (including a 4" border).

  • You selected
    Pledge $225 or more

    1 backer

    A one-on-one 3 hour composition class with me. We can talk about Max/MSP, video game music, aleatoric scores, sound art, the kinds of things I cover in my classes at Boston University CDIA and (starting later this summer) the Berklee College of Music. I can provide feedback on your work and walk you through some of my Max/MSP patches for projects like Kaleidoscope Music and the EndWar music system.

Funding period

- (30 days)