Johnatan Foote (US) The Micro Rhythm Orchestra

Interactive object, 2006.

The Micro Rhythm Orchestra is an update on the venerable music box tradition, constructed from a wooden cigar box and head-park solenoids scavenged from old disk drives. The solenoids are controlled by a internal microcontroller. Instead of playing a conventional melody, the solenoids are sequenced to click in rhythmic patterns. If the whole business wasn't quite such a dorkfest, the sound could almost be considered funky. When you open the box, the Micro Rhythm Orchestra begins to play. The work is interactive: viewers can change the rate and pattern by interacting with the control panel.

Control panel consists of the knob which controls the speed of the rhythmic pattern, from zombie-slow to impossibly robot-fast. A reasonable speed is indicated by the black triangle, though users are naturally free to set their own tempo. The red button starts and stops the pattern, while the black button selects the available patterns to play. (Pressing the black button while stopped cycles through the available patterns.) The bicolor LEDs at the top cycle with the pattern (when playing), or show the selected pattern in binary (when stopped).

Johnatan Foote (US)

Jonathan T. Foote was born in 1963 in Hollywood. He attended public schools in Santa Monica, California, somehow without learning how to surf. He received a BS (Electrical Engineering) degree in 1985 and a ME (Electrical) degree in 1986, both from Cornell University. From 1986 to 1988 he worked as a development engineer for Teradyne, Inc. in Boston, Massachusetts. In 1993 he received a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Brown University, where he also received a Brown Presidential Teaching Award and an Outstanding Research Award from the Brown University Chapter of Sigma Xi. He did postdoctoral research at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom from 1993 to 1996, and was a 1997 Fulbright Fellow at the Institute of Systems Science (now A*STAR) in Singapore. From 1997 to 2005 he was a Senior Research Scientist at FX Palo Alto Laboratory Inc. Currently he is consulting and working on a manuscript.

Dr. Foote's research interests include speech recognition, audio analysis and retrieval, multimedia signal processing, and panoramic video. Dr. Foote has published more than 60 papers in these areas and has received Best Paper Awards at the ACM Multimedia and ACM SIGIR international conferences. Dr. Foote has been awarded ten US patents and has nearly 30 pending. He is also active in the arts, and enjoys not surfing in his free time.