August 1st, 2006
Waves is a sound installation that uses buoys to connect wading pools in two different locations and create sound compositions generated by the energy of waves in a wading pool. An accelerometer in each buoy measures the magnitude of waves through x- and y-axis position changes caused by the rocking back and forth of the buoy on the water's surface. The accelerometer's readings are converted into sound waves by a microcontroller connected to a SPEAKjet sound synthesizer IC. The SPEAKjet's output is then amplified and sent to a speaker integrated into the buoy. Each buoy plays a electronically generated minimalistic tone that reflects the participant's movements in the wading pool.
Each group of waders create their own audio composition as they influence the magnitude and frequency of waves in the pool with their splashing and playing. When no waders are in the pool, the buoys reflect their environment by responding to the waves created by wind blowing through the park, or silence when both air and water are still.