The Toadstool Orchestra is an immersive sound installation aimed at bringing people together. It allows any number of people to collectively interact with the unconventional musical interface; Toadstools.
The brief was to create an interactive ‘sound garden’ visitor attraction at Kielder Water & Forest Park in Northumberland.
The piece had to reflect qualities of Kielder, building upon existing installations in making Kielder an interesting environment captivating peoples' interest and providing inspiration for all. As well as challenging peoples' expectations, it had to retain a high level of quality, design and on a practical level it’s functionality had to be feasible.
While thinking through how this installation could work I thought about adding the facility to be able to record/play back the pieces of music people create. This inspired the addition of the fairy lamp seen to the right. It would have a very basic 2 button interface; record and play.
Clicking on ‘record’ would record any sounds played on the toadstools for the next 2 minutes. While recording, the lantern would turn red. Clicking on the 'play' button would play the previous recording and the lamp would go green.
Clicking on 'record' as well as the 'play' button would allow users to build up the piece of music by adding any new sounds being played on the toadstools onto the sounds that were already on the previous recording.This would allow an individual or group of people to still achieve a piece of music involving notes from all the toadstools by slowly building up each recording.