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2016.12 | Individual work

Water, Arduino, Max/MSP, Customised PCBs, Salad Spinners, Metal Frames

Concept details & Process of making

Code on GitHub

waterFalse is an interactive installation based digital performance. It re-imagines and combines the ancient Chinese chime and Fou (缶, a percussion instrument) with digital audio visual installation.

It is composed of four almost identical spinners called Fou by Yuli, each Fou has different sound textures and various interaction gestures. Within them, is different amount of water, that gives waterFalse the ability to generate original and natural water sound as one of the main audio sources of this new interface of instrument, surrounded and contained by other computer generated synthesized sounds while playing.

Using different pulling gestures during her performance, Yuli Cai gradually reveals different stories behind different Fous as different sound textures. It captures five sound elements together, which are Natural water sound, Panning wind sound, Monk singing, Simulation of matouqin sound (a two string Mongolian instrument) and Female opera singing. Other than that, it also digs deeper into the relationship between water and this project, by using another existence form of water, mist. While playing one of the Fous, it will activate the unique mist blowing out of it. The mist becomes visible by spilling the rear projection on it. Combining with reactive led surrounded on each Fou, it creates a sensory,mysterious as well as peaceful feeling among its audience.

The name waterFalse is coming from an ancient Chinese instrument called Fou, which has the same pronunciation of  the meaning false in Chinese.



2016.12 NIME show at Little Field, Brooklyn, New York