The project belongs to an Italian artist, Michele Tadini, composer and professor of composition and technologies at the National Conservatory of Music and Dance in Lyon (CNSMD) and to Angelo Guiga, researcher technician at the LETI laboratory of CEA Grenoble . .

La Terza Luce may open our minds to a new dimension of perception, in which light becomes sound and sound becomes light. A new state, where eyes create an acoustic illusion and light makes ears vibrate or glitter.

The Laureate Team
- Michele Tadini, composer and professor of composition and technologies at the National Conservatory of Music and Dance in Lyon (CNSMD).
Angelo Guiga, researcher technician at CEA Leti Grenoble
The team won the A.R.T.S Prize in 2011

The research residency will be concluded with a concert at Hexagone Scène National Arts Sciences - Meylan on 11 and 12 October, in the framework of the Rencontres-i Arts Sciences Biennale 2013.

Research project and artistic project

La Terza Luce may open our minds to a new dimension of perception, in which light becomes sound and sound becomes light. A new state, where eyes create an acoustic illusion and light makes ears vibrate or glitter.

The project aims at confirming these hypotheses and at expanding research on possible interactions between sound and light from various angles : physics, perception, cognitive, compositional.

Research objectives : :

  • Create an experimental environment bringing sound and light interactions to fruition
  • Classify and interpret results various perception test on possible interactions between sound and light
  • Write a research dissertation including all examples and test results
  • Compose and perform in real time a piece of music for cello, bassoon, percussion, electronics and light
  • Create and present an immersive stage performance

La Terza Luce research
As a first step, the project was elaborated along two main research axes :

Searching for a terminology, a grammar of possible syntheses - almost like a "counterpoint course book". How and to what extent can we entwine the principles of counterpoint used in music ? How freely ?

  • Searching for effects produced by the "beat of light", just like the beat of sound, with luminous vibrations following the pattern of a stroboscopic pulsation. A luminous flanging effect ; does it really exist ?

These objects will serve as vocabulary, grammar and syntax for writing a global score in various musical ranges. This research step needed a series of tests taken and evaluated by a non-scientific group of people.
The tests were carried out during the EXPERIMENTA 2012 between 11 and 13 October. 556 people of all ages and categories participated in these tests during the three-day exhibition.

Second part of research/Following the perception tests

Light, sound and digitalization
The first phase of research is completed. The test results, according to our hopes and beliefs, yield to new possibilities.
Carrying out the tests was made possible by a new version of control software interfacing sound and light.
The significant outcome of this first phase of research is that the command centre of interactions, the most interesting ones, depends on the efficiency and flexibility of the software. Nevertheless, the DMX protocol used for controlling the LED projectors did not totally correspond to the requirements of musical composition based on relationships and synchronization.

MAX MSP is the basis for development of the control software. The software is mainly designed for music : for controlling and transforming sound. The logical, digital part can ensure a common ground for this connection, which is at the same time strict and independent, but is by all means, driven by musical composition.
Once again, being able to develop a unique software development interface places digitalization at the core of several lines of research.
Based on the possibility of controlling the DMX protocol through the logic of musical programming, one of the key elements in the new research will be to succeed in simulating a very precise control despite the transmission protocol.
A practical research on digitalizing the control is inevitable. We will also need to conduct some parallel research on different ways of transmitting data, on other lighting elements, their projection and materialization.

LED - Direct interface control
Important research will be conducted on other direct interface LED controls. So as to be able to study closely and precisely interactions between frequencies of various stroboscopic pulsations, we will not abide by the DMX protocol. The DMX does not provide sufficiently accurate possibilities for serious work on "beats of light", as initially envisioned.
We should be able to control and observe with high accuracy the possible phase shifts, to confront, contrast, link them and to compose with similar phenomena from the realm of sound. For this, we need to design a specific interface enabling a dynamic control via a USB interface so as to achieve a perfect command of the pulsation frequency associated with the luminous power of the LEDs. Many components more or less specialized in LED control/command already exist. These various devices will need to be tested and compared. This will be followed by designing the electronics as well as developing a software driver for interfacing the card with the MAX MSP software.

Luminous objects
In connection with investigating other types of luminous source controls, a line of research will aim at developing one or two luminous objects to be used in an immaterial scenography. Due to their shape and material, they should enhance the luminous effects, thereby contributing to a fusion between spectators’ sensory and visual perceptions over the course of different phases of the show.
The results of the tests carried out in a closed room illuminated by only four LED projectors directed on a white wall, prove the necessity of a large space for our next production. It is important that spectators do not suffer from light and sound effects. Therefore, they will need to be in the middle of the narrative space of sound and light, so that they get carried away by a whirlwind of a sensory experience towards the third light - their third light.
The development of an interactive device, to be presented at the EXPERIMENTA show in October 2013 and then showcased at the DRT showroom, is also in perspective.
The object will be acoustic and luminous, made of luminous fibres and materials which diffuse and reflect the LED emitted light. The technological principle is based on the use of algorithms and software developed for the Terza Luce project. Threads of words pronounced in front of the object and captured by a microphone will be digitally processed, thereby generating modulated sound and light effects.
The shape of the object can be inspired as a large shell which, when a spoken sentence is uttered, diffuse the transformed sound and will be illuminated, reflecting the luminous conversation. It can thus compose a personalised story.
If there is no sound, after a second’s interval, the device will launch a pre-defined animation.

The residency will conclude with a concert.

Also read > La Revue-i 2013 which retraces the highlights of the Arts Sciences Biennial, Rencontres-i 2013 including an article on La Terza Luce.