Bob Gluck's interactive electronic instruments


2002, Robert J. Gluck


... an electronically processed shofar [ram's horn] ... The sounds played on the shofar are miked, enhanced and transformed by means of digital sound processing. The shofar is held by the right hand, enclosed within an I-Cube sensor glove. Finger movements upon the body of the shofar thus control the filtering and other sound processing, that is achieved by means of a custom designed Max / MSP software interface.

eShofar in performance eShofar in performance

The traditional shofar is an ancient instrument whose purpose is not strictly musical. The shofar blast - in our day, mostly limited to the Jewish High Holy Days - provides a call to reflection, an alarm, a wake-up call ... Digital processing of the sounds allows one to listen 'inside' the sound of the shofar. The first work for eShofar, 'Shofaralong' (2001) was commissioned by the Schenectady JCC and Meet the Composer.

Here is a short mp3 excerpt of 'Shofaralong', for eShofar.


... an electronically expanded classical Turkish long-neck string instrument. It is part of the Makam tradition dating to the Ottomon empire. eSaz is outfitted with two electronic I-Cube sensors, placed on either side of its neck. These send information to a custom designed Max / MSP software interface that processes the sounds of the saz. The first work for eSaz was 'Miles Before' (2002).

eSaz in performance

Here is a short mp3 excerpt of 'Miles Before', for eSaz.

eSaz detail
Here is an image detailing one of the sensors, some of the wiring, and one contact microphone ...

eBoard ...

... a highly expressive interactive performance instrument ...

... which includes 20 I-Cube sensors that control multiple sound sources and digital processing.

eBoard in performance 1eBoard in performance 2

Here are two short mp3s excerpts of premiere performances of eBoard2 (May 2001), featured in the solo composition, 'Klezfez'. excerpt 1, excerpt 2

Here are two short mp3s excerpts of 2001 performances of 'A Neighborhood Somewhat Different Than the One You Live In' (1999). excerpt 1, excerpt 2

Pictured above is the eBoard in performance.

The performer can shape the sounds by means of 'playing' the various sensors - shifting one's hand position on a combination of the four sliders on the instrument's neck, tilting its body, playing a touch pad mouse positioned on the body, bending 2 home-built antenae attached to the instrument, moving 3 knobs, striking one of three metal bars with fingers dressed in an I-Cube glove ... and plucking the strings of "dulciharp", a four-string harp built upon the body of eBoard (not shown in these images).

Sound sources range from processed acoustical sounds, to physical models of acoustical instruments, sound samples, and granulation synthesis. The software interface and processing engines were created with the Max/MSP real-time interactive music programming environment.

An image of Max/MSP interface 1 -- A subpatch within interface 1 -- Max/MSP interface 2

eBoard body 1 eBoard design detail.

From the top, moving down: Installed on neck are 4 continuous controller sliders; At the top of the body is a Glide-point touch pad mouse, 3 continuous controller knobs, 2 bend sensors in antenae (lightly colored, pointed to the right); positioned vertically on the left are 16 channel Midi sliders, and to the right of it, 3 metal panels covering force sensing resistors, upon which I-Cube glove is played. Not in this image is the 4-string 'dulciHarp' or (but seen in the performance images, above): I-Cube digitizer, with single axis accelerometer beneath; and the top of the four continuous controller sliders.