Chowndolo – Magnetic Pendulum 2018

Interactive Sonic Sculpture

The Chowndolo is an Interactive Sonic Sculpture based on a Magnetic Pendulum: an oscillating stick whose trajectories are altered by magnets placed underneath the device. The unstable patterns produced by the pendulum oscillations are transformed into sound, articulating a music which evolves based on the pendulum motions. The magnets at the bottom of the pendulum can be arranged to compose new shapes. Different configurations will therefore modify the pendulum oscillations and the sonic patterns. The sounds generated are entirely based on FM synthesis. Sound parameters are controlled by sensing the variation of the magnetic fields. Both sensing and audio processes runs on the Bela board. Designed to be foldable and easily portable, the sculpture concept can be also adapted to larger scale performances.