The Arrogant Worms Orchestra

Sound Installation

Sound Design, Arduino, Pure Data, Code

The Arrogant Worms Orchestra is a real time and interactive sound installation that I made for the class of advanced new media art at the UNA (National University of Art) Buenos Aires, Argentina.

This sound installation started as an ironic joke about the academic context of contemporary music and was built it to be executed by earthworms in order to achieve an automatic and interactive sound piece that does not require the presence of a human-user to be stimulated.

The design of the PCB (Printed Circuit Board) works as a visual metaphor for the position of the musicians in an classical music orchestracopying the design and arrangement of the instruments. Thus, each section has its own space on the circuit board.

This sound piece was programmed using Pure data and composed by a division of six main instruments.
Each group contains three types of sound characters: melodic, rhythmic and noisy.

- The melodic sounds are samples of audio keynotes.
- The rhythmic samples are iterated.
- The noise samples contain variations in frequencies, timbre and amplitude.

Each of the 6 instruments has 24 different sounds, which makes a total of 144 sound samples that compose the entire piece.

The piece can be interpreted through different sources like worms or insects walking on the board, and any kind of input with the ability to enable the capacitive sensors of which the interface is made. These sensors activate the samples of each instrument, triggering sounds that are bound to a pre-written musical structure. This score it is based on logical settings and commands such as “solo string instruments”, “solo piano”, “solo percussion”, and different combinations like, “percussion and piano”, among others. Characteristics like “loud piano with melodic violin” or “rhythmic cellos with noisy percussion”, can also be mixed in real time.