Baltic Altar is an interactive music installation that was brought to Black Rock City in 2015 by an international team of burners. Presented as a regional project from Baltic states, it was part of the Midway — a showcase of attractions around the Man base.
The foundation of the project is the Silicone Meadow — an interactive light art installation, which was one of the Honorarium Art projects selected for Burning Man in 2014. Created by a dedicated team of Lithuanian burners in collaboration with Technarium hackerspace, Meadow is a platform that contains a thousand silicone tubes lit by the LEDs.
The centerpiece of the room is the Altar itself, a glowing cube (well, hexahedron really) that contains a Mash Machine — an interactive music machine that allows participants to create music together by placing small tokens (controllers) on its surface. Sound loops of bass, drums, melodies, and vocals can be combined in thousands of different variations, creating a unique musical piece.
We have connected the two pieces together and wrote some software to make the Meadow change colors in sync with the music. Also, a variety of sound banks has been specifically prepared for the project, ranging from Baltic folk to electronics.
Hundreds of people stopped by (some repeatedly) and enjoyed making music together, and we saw more happy faces and heard more kind words than we could have expected.
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