Wooden U-shape and a person with green light canvas bag on them hands.

After all photo and visual projects I took a side step to make my own instrument and to perform in Musikkapelle concert with Carla Zamora Campos.

Are you listening to things around you?
How your position sounds like?

Ori3ntatioX is an instrument that senses its environment and position in the world. It generates three different sounds by the position of the instrument in space.

Ori3ntatioX is made out of wood, canvas, ESP32-microcontroller, orientation sensor, Arduino and Max. The project had many different experimental parts that I needed to knit together in the end.

Making-of Ori3ntatioX from Tiia Suorsa on Vimeo.

Bending the skills

The most visible part is the wooden cradle that I was making in the wood workshop two days. I got a lot of help from professional carpenter because the shape is not easy even for more advanced makers.

The first day I was making the mold and the second day I was finishing the ready wooden parts. We were bending glued plywood over the night and hoping the best. The next day the shape worked as I wanted and I was so relieved.

Metal holders holding wooden part
Bending the wood with the mold

Under the Hood

Other tricky part was having the correct Arduino code and to get the microcontroller to work on my laptop. I got support from my teacher, sound artist Enrique Tomás. After that I was making the Max patch that took also some time, because I needed to learn the nature of my sensor and the values it generates.

Our instruments are connected to nature so I chose some sounds that has some connection to that. One of them is the sound of sawing because the wood work was one important step in this project and I though it would be great to have it as part of the performance.

Piece of canvas and small parts of electronics.
The secret core of Ori3ntatioX

My first plan was to have multiple sensors, example SoftPot, and I got few of them to work at the same time wirelessly, but in the end I wanted to focus to work with the orientation one.

The home or the cover of the instrument is made out of canvas. I had few different options I tried during the process, but after all this seemed to fit the best for the theme and being also the best for the sensor. I needed to have enough big but light object to hold inside MC, sensor and power bank, but not to bend the plywood too much.

This was very experimental project with all the parts. Usually my projects has been strongly connected to visual arts, but now was the time to try something new and stretch my borders and comfort zone.

Musikkapelle Concert

Ori3ntatioX saw the light of day 24th of January on Florentine in Linz (Austria). Our performance with Carla went good even we didn’t know how is it going to be because our instruments work every time a bit differently.

In the concert were altogether 15 different and completely new instruments. The event place was as full as possible and atmosphere was excited, the air was full of curiosity and enthusiasm over unusual beats.

For me it was the time to try a new path since the only performance is usually a short talk in the opening of an exhibition. I really enjoyed it and I feel that this is not going to be the last project in this field.

Photos from the concert: