All posts tagged with 'music/audio' sorted by date.

May 2023


An algorithmic musical instrument designed for performing electronic music live.

About three years ago I set out to design a electronic instrument that would fulfill all my music creation and performing needs. Eventually this became the PolyPulse. Recently, I've been able to start using the PolyPulse in live performances:

I've also visited Superbooth and Dutch Modular Fest with my company Lambda Synthetics to present the PolyPulse to an international audience:

See also or @lambdasynthetics on Instagram.

Jun 2020

Sounds Like Juggling

An instrument commissioned for a music theater play which plays various sounds when a ball rolls past the sensor.

The instrument, specifically designed for the music theater play 'Sounds Like Juggling', can be attached to a large ball run and plays various samples based on the size of the ball.

The system uses a distance sensor to detect and measure balls, and sends a message over WiFi to a Raspberry Pi which plays the samples. Different samples can be loaded into the device and the sensor has two sides, each with a different set of samples assigned. Both sides of the sensor can be individually disabled and the sensor runs off an powerbank fitted in the handle.

Several electroacoustic instruments have been developed for this play. In the process of designing instruments for the play I provided consultancy on technical matters.

Sounds Like Juggling is a production by Arthur Wagenaar and Guido van Hout, also featuring Dianne Verdonk, Aleš Hrdlička and Joeri Vos.

Partners: Stichting Goed Bezig! with Veenfabriek, Gaudeamus Muziekweek, Korzo, Werkplaats Diepenheim.

Jan 2020

Kijk mam!

Live music for a theater play inspired by 'The still face experiment' exploring the influence of the mother-child relation in our way of communicating.

Mothers, we can't live without them. The mother's heartbeat is the first sound you hear. It is the beginning of a livelong connection. 'Kijk mam!' ('Look mom!' in Dutch) is a play about contact inspired by 'The still face experiment' of Dr. Edward Tronick. To understand how we communicate with our surroundings we have to look back at our first connection. What influence does the maternal bond have on our way of communicating? And what happens if this contact is disrupted?

The entirety of the composition is based around the heartbeat. The heartbeat is almost always there, either in patterns and rhythms or actually as a heartbeat. The heartbeat drives the dreamy opening, the upbeat playful sequence and the slow decline from contact through denial into desperation. Halfway through the play a live looper is used to symbolize growing up. As the older input slowly fades away the looper is filled with darker words while the heartbeat keeps going. Tension rises and so does the rate of the heartbeat. Near the end of the play suddenly the heartbeat stops together with all electronic sounds. With the heartbeat almost taken for granted now its absence signifies its importance.

Made together with:
Performers: Didi van Catz, Linde van Dorp, Anne Scheurer en Ebony Wilson
Composer: Ward Slager
Playwright: Maaike van Maltha
Dramaturge: Laura van Gurp
Concept and director: Ieke van Dam

Jan 2020

Pandora's Box

A part physical, part digital standalone performance instrument for live improvisation. The core principle of the instrument is transforming the audio signal inside a feedback path.

Vibrations picked up by a piezo element are analyzed by an algorithm controlling an oscillator. The oscillator is output via a speaker which in turn sets the spring in motion. With direct control over parameters like the oscillator range and delay time the seemingly unstable feedback can be guided to specific frequencies and sounds.

The instrument is played by physically interacting with the spring, manipulating the toggles controlling signal flow and the faders mapped to parameters of the algorithm.

A secondary signal path is sent to external amplification with a processed version of the signal as created by the feedback path. This path adds a contrasting layer to the local and raw sound of the feedback spring. Ideally the secondary signal is spatialized with a multispeaker setup in a large geometric shape around the performer.

Performances played with Pandora’s Box are improvised in nature but follow one principle. Metaphorically Pandora’s Box opens halfway through the performance. At that point the sound is not constrained by the single speaker inside the box and is spatialized in the surrounding space with some form of external speakers.

For me, the key value in improvising is having fun and surprising people with a relatively simple looking instrument.

Jun 2019

t r e e s t a r t i m e

An installation in which people are invited to join in creating together. While listening to the stimulating music people gaze into a detailed network of threads and add to it using the spool of thread they were given.

The project is part of the PQ Waltz, an initiative by Trudi Maan, Henny Dörr and Anne Habermann where the international community was invited to slow travel to the The Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space.

t r e e s t a r t i m e was conceptualized and realized by Ward Slager, Ivo Smit, Jitte van Veen and Pleun Verhees under supervision of the University of the Arts Utrecht. The project includes music by Jitte and Ward, texts by Ivo, clothing by Pleun, a website and a timelapse video by Ward.

Article cover photo by Eva Neužilová

Feb 2019

PRP Voyager

A generative musical instrument with a complex mapping interface based on user made presets made together with Fedde ten Berge. The synthesis algorithms generate patterns with a pseudo random quality that serve as a distinct musical language.

The instrument has six tracks of sound generation using the Pseudo Random Pulse algorithm written by Fedde ten Berge. I've reïmplemented the algorithm in C++ to run it on a Bela. Together we've expanded upon the algorithm and added a pulse looper to record and play back patterns. The recorded patterns can be quantized by a certain percentage to blend between the algorithms irregularity and and the quantized regularity.

With RGB LED encoders and a LCD display you can create sounds which can then be stored on one of the four corners of a joystick. Each track has it's own joystick allowing for seamlessly morphing between complex sounds.

12 CV inputs can be used to override the X and Y axis of each joystick. An ethernet connection listens for OSC messages containing a new set of notes. Together with the 6 clock CV outputs this enables easy intergration with other gear like a laptop running custom software projects built-in Max/MSP, Pure Data, Super Collider or it can be hooked up to your nuclear launch systems

Lastly is has audio synced spatialisation control for The Pentacle 15.3 system so that each new note can be placed in a different location in the room.

The instrument was used in performances at:

PRP algorithms & sound design
Fedde ten Berge

Embedded software implementation
Ward Slager

Casing & hardware
Fedde ten Berge & Ward Slager

Nov 2018


A live coding performance at EKKO Utrecht using Puredata.

HKU // EKKO // Uncloud // FIBER // Creative Coding Utrecht

Oct 2018


An instrument in which vibrations are presented to the ear, eye and body. It amplifies the physical behaviour of a large spring which is then fed back into the spring creating a feedback loop.

By picking up vibrations in the spring and sending them back into the spring it will find a balance at which it will resonate. The resonations can be altered by modifying the electrical signal during the amplification stage, pushing or even hitting the spring. The instrument act as a sort of perpetuum mobile from which a strong soundscape arises which not only shakes the spring but also the surrounding room.

The photos are taken by Lars Lensink at a performance held at ACU, Utrecht.

Oct 2018


A network installation where multiple computers together play a single song. The visuals are a reference to the stereotypes surrounding computers, hacking and other cyberwizardry.

All source files used in this project can be found on GitHub

Project realised together with Bram Giesen and Geert Roks

Dec 2017

Night Owl

An EP somewhere inbetween melodic trance and breakbeat. The EP contains modern trance and breakbeat music.

Oct 2017

Modular #01

A modular synthesizer performance in which analog and digital sound sources slowly turn into a single raw texture.

The performance is recorded on the modular system in the studio's at the University of the Arts Utrecht.

Jul 2017

Burst / Backdraft

An EP with a remixed track from Koarse & Pulsate and a midtempo Electronic track. The EP contains drum'n'bass, ambient and psychedelic breakbeat.

Burst is a mid-tempo athmospheric ambient/electronic track filled with synthesizers, drums and mechanical keyboards. Backdraft is an uplifting drum'n'bass remix I did for Koarse & Pulsate

May 2017

Supercollider #01

An electronic track composed entirely in Supercollider. Several sounds are shaped by randomness which makes every playback slightly different!

The source code can be found on GitHub

May 2017

Machine Jazz

Algorithmic Breakbeat/Jazz compositions based on image analysis. The pixels shape the sounds, song structure and control the algorithm that works its way through classic jazz chords structures.

Feb 2017


A classical short composition in the tradition of the twelve-tone technique.

Sheet music is available upon request.

Feb 2017

Gong Desintergration

A dark algorithmic soundscape which is made by extracting and altering the indivual vibrations of a bell sound.