Taking as a starting point a festival that took place a while ago in Amsterdam, called the Mobile Music Workshop

(to read an extensive article, visit we-make- money- not-art)

i am writing about some mobile-music pieces, others directly linked to mobiles, others to education and others to geo-tagging and gps.

01_Gamelan Playtime, by Arlete Castelo & Melissa Mongiat, UK (


This installation draws in passers-by as they walk along Hungerford terrace on the South Bank. By moving their hands across an invitingly tactile surface pedestrians trigger sensors that release recordings of the Royal Festival Hall’s Gamelan set being played by a group of Lambeth school children. The sounds are made up of the Gamelan instruments themselves, human voices and song. The installation is a 30m long “wall”, bringing about unexpected interaction not only between each individual and the surface but also amongst the all the different groups of people engaging with the installation at the same time. more…

02_PLAY.orchestra, by Arlete Castelo & Melissa Mongiat


Play orchestra, recreates an empty orchestra pit of 60 seats. Passers-by can take the stage and experience a musical piece
from the player’s perspective. By taking a seat, the public triggers a recording of the correspondent musical instrument. As more people
sit down, the composition is progressively revealed in its whole. They can further engage with the piece through their mobile phones, by receiving ringtones of the experience they just created, or sending
their own sounds. These will then be part of a new composition to take place within the installation, for other passers-by to discover.’

o3_Net derive, by Atau Tanaka and Petra Gemeinboeck



Participants are given a kind of scarf with a mobile phone in each end and off they go to explore the neighborhood. One of the phones takes pictures every 20 secs and collects sounds, the other talks to the GPS (also in the scarf) and to the server inside the gallery space. On a radar they can see themselves pictured as dots but also the images they’re taking. The sounds and pictures collected in the streets are sampled and mapped to a 3D city map in the gallery. As users are walking they can hear some voice instructions through a pair of headphones. Those comments suggest paths to follow or turns to make, they are generated and heard in a musical fashion.

04_Sonic City, Lalya Gaye, developed by a the Viktoria Institute and RE:form in Sweden, 2004

Sonic city, enables people to compose music in real time by walking through the city, through a mobile wearable interface. The system retrieves information about the environment and user action, and maps it to the audio processing of urban sounds, resulting in music heard through headphones.

–how it works–

Wearing a sensor-equiped jacket, the person can create a personal soundscape co-produced by physical movement, local activity, and urban ambiance.

05_Taking Soundings, by Yolande Harris, KHM


‘Taking soundings is a series of pieces that are emerging from the investigation into landscape and navigation. Taking soundings is a traditional technique of determining the shape and depth of the sea or river-bed by means of a lead and line, and I find an obvious continuity in the gathering of information from satellites via a GPS receiver. Taking soundings of ones position relative to satellites orbiting the earth rather than relative to ones immediate environment, strikes me as a kind of blind guidance, which encourages feelings of security or insecurity. Certainly this giving up of something of ones own intentions and perceptions, being taken by the hand as it were, has parallels with an experience of art. My intentions, rather than taking away peoples ability to act, is to encourage an unfolding of experience, a drift.’ More…

06_Talking cities, Hybrid Space Lab in KHM


The four sculpted audio seating areas are traversed by broad bands, each carrying the audio signal of one of the four radio stations. By means of little cable spools in which loudspeakers are integrated, visitors can go to any point along a band and listen to the programme of that particular radio station in German, or in English. More…


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