Instruments, Biomécanique et Performance
Instruments, Biomechanics and Performance

Le Bâton: A Digital Musical Instrument Based on the Chaotic Triple Pendulum

Matt Skarha
CIRMMT, McGill University

This presentation describes Le Bâton, a new digital musical instrument based on the nonlinear dynamics of the triple pendulum. The triple pendulum is a simple physical system constructed by attaching three pendulums vertically such that each joint can swing freely. When subjected to large oscillations, its motion is chaotic and is often described as unexpectedly mesmerizing. Le Bâton uses wireless inertial measurement units (IMUs) embedded in each pendulum arm to send real-time motion data to Max/MSP. Additionally, we implemented a control mechanism, allowing a user to remotely interact with it by setting the initial release angle. Here, we explain the motivation and design of Le Bâton and describe mapping strategies. To conclude, we discuss how its nature of user interaction complicates its status as a digital musical instrument.

7m 26s