Apparently I was not the only person inside the Garden who was as taken with the video of an LP player making music from a tree cookie. Mia D’Avanza, Reference Librarian/Exhibitions Coordinator for the LuEsther T. Mertz Library was curious enough to call in the scientific big guns, in this case, James P. Ascher, Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and “techy smartypants,” who provided the following explanation:
light sensor (Arduino or otherwise) + Max/MSP (or equivalent, Ld or cSound would work too) + the hardware setup you see + clever programming to translate the light and dark of the wood into interesting MIDI signals + a nice MIDI synthesizer to produce the piano sounds = what you see; that’s why it’s in the dark!
What does “Arduino + light sensor” mean? Mr. Ascher was kind enough to include this video clip with his answer.
Some days I love my job so much. Thank you Mia and James! ~ AR