Client: Afrika MuseumRhythm & Roots is an exhibition that’s all about music and includes the influence of Africa on the history of music. IJsfontein developed an interactive floor which allows visitors to make their own music.
Eight African instruments are central to the music that can be made with the interactive floor. These instruments hang from the ceiling above. Beneath the instruments we have placed eight interactive drums with speakers above them. As you walk underneath the instruments you will hear them from above and your invited to play.
Three layers of music
The music is built up of three layers. When a visitor activates an instrument it will start playing. Then if another visitor activates a different instrument, that one will start playing in the same place of the composition the first instrument is on. So visitors are always making music together.
Visitors can also create a rhythm. This will be mixed with the composed rhythm from layer 1. They can play around with the music, add elements or just mess about.
Finally there is another layer. When a number of instruments are activated, a soloist will participate. This will ensure that real music is created. Never mind the pitch, the installation has been calibrated to always play the right tone.
Chronological journey through music
While making music, the composition develops along different styles. From Slave songs to Dixieland and Jazz to more recent styles like hip hop. This way the players take a chronological journey through the music, in which the instruments remain the same though the style changes. While the tempo and basic rhythm remain the same, small variations in the rhythm and variety in the solo instrument will transport you from one style to the other.
You can try the instillation yourself at the Africa Museum.