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Old 11-25-2010, 04:01 PM
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Thumbs up EFO: World's First Electric Fish Orchestra

Take a dozen different species of electric fish, sort them by increasing electric organ discharge frequency, hook them up to some amplifiers, control them by a Nintendo controller and you have the idea behind 'scale' - the world's first Electric Fish Orchestra. Wow. If you happen to be in Holland this weekend, you can give it a go at the STRP Festival of Art and Technology. More below.

http://www.3reef.com/images/misc/electricfishorchestra.jpg
Photo credit: Discover Magazine

In brief, scale is based on the discharges of South American weakly electric fish. By lucky coincidence, the highly regular electric discharges of these fish happen to occur at a frequency that allows them to be heard when they are amplified and played through a speaker. The fish use the discharges as a radar system to perceive their dark world, which are Amazon Basin rivers at night.

The idea behind the piece is to take a dozen different species, and have one individual per species on a tall frame with its own amplifier, speaker, and control circuitry. You stand on a podium in the middle of an arc of 12 of these frames (as shown above), with the fish ordered by increasing electric organ discharge frequency from left to right, and use a wireless game controller (the Nintendo Wiimote) to select which fish(es) you listen to. A touchpad interface on the podium gives you sliders to adjust volume and buttons for real-time effects for each fish. In this way you conduct your own choir of electric fish.

One of our motivations for making the piece is that so few people know of these animals, despite their significant contributions to our understanding of how brains work. Over the past 40 years, more than 3,000 scientific papers have been published on how sensory information is processed in these animals. They can be thought of as the fruit fly of sensory biology. Among other contributions, they’ve taught us about the neural mechanisms for controlling the “volume” of sensory information reaching the brain, and how we subtract away information that we already know—sensory input that is due to our own movement. These mechanisms are fundamental to the working of every animal sensory system.

More:
How to Conduct the World’s First Electric Fish Orchestra | Science Not Fiction | Discover Magazine

STRP:
STRP Festival

Last edited by Matt Rogers; 11-25-2010 at 04:18 PM. Reason: strp
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Old 11-25-2010, 05:21 PM   #2
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interesting article again Matt

just wondering if the second fish in the scale should be a Ray?


Steve

Last edited by steve wright; 11-26-2010 at 04:02 AM. Reason: a drop of golden sun, me a name I call myself, far, along,long way to run so a needle pulling thread, la, a note to follow so
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Old 11-25-2010, 05:56 PM   #3
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Wow!

(and Steve....double wow)
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Old 11-26-2010, 03:24 AM   #4
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Awesome Matt. Steve LOL
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