Tapis Magique by Irmandy Wicaksono in collaboration with Don Derek Haddad (Responsive Environments) and Loni Landon is a pressure-sensitive, knitted electronic textile carpet that generates three-dimensional sensor data based on body gestures and drives an immersive sonic environment in real-time. Inspired by the arts and craftsmanship of traditional textile cultures, we set to merge new materials, sensing technologies, and digital fabrication with contemporary dance and music into one united and harmonic piece of object and performance. The project explores the relationship between sound and movement, and reveals the creative, non-conventional possibilities of dancers to have their own agency and improvisation over the music and choreography.
Several musical pieces were designed with Tapis Magique to invoke various emotions and inspire conversations between the choreographer and the instrument. Behind the scenes, runs a digital modular synthesizer made of several patches, each for a different type of performance. The incoming stream of MIDI data is first fed into quantizer modules that align the notes to major, minor, and pentatonic scales, as well as mystic chords. The sounds are then generated by a collection of subtractive, additive, and granular synthesizers. Venus Sunrise, one of our performance pieces presents a metaphorical celestial sound of the universe as the dancer is twirling around the stars, traveling through space and time.