Wow, the Mountain Oasis 2013 festival was simply epic! As I mentioned in a recent post, I was that there at the invitation of the Bob Moog Foundation. I brought my "9 Box" installation / instrument to be part of Dr. Bob's Interactive Sonic Experience. In this post I’ll offer some photos and videos from my time at the fest.
9 Box as Part of Dr. Bob's Interactive Sonic Experience
For those not familiar with the 9 Box, it’s part collaborative instrument, part interactive installation — the 9 Box allows up to six casual players to instantly make music and shape sound by manipulating blocks called AudioCubes.
AudioCubes, made by California based Percussa (http://www.percussa.us), are smart wireless cubes capable of sensing each other's location and orientation as well as distance to your hands, fingers and other objects. They also emit feedback in the form of light as you interact with them.
Ultimately this hands-on approach allows players to manipulate sets of sounds in 3×3 grids — hence the name 9 Box. The 9 Box supports also supports user creatable "refills" allowing for unique and endless sonic possibilities.
So I devised the method, player’s guides and stickers, Percussa MIDI Bridge template, and Ableton Live templates and refill system.
SicImages was there and took this photo and made the comment
"These blocks were really something crazy. Infrared sensors and wireless proximity based effects manipulation into ableton….whatttt!”
The 9 Box ran for 18 hours over 3 days and was played by 100s of festival goers of all ages and went over really well. This embedded video offers a taste of what it was like to be at the 9 Box section of the booth area. It was so rewarding see people's reactions to the 9 Box and to hear their creations throughout the weekend.
Flickr Photo Set of Overall Festival Experience
Of course besides the booth time which ran from noon to seven each day I also was able to experience performances. Highlights for me were Gary Numan, Nine Inch Nails, Tara Busch, and Alan Howarth (co-composer of the soundtracks to all those great John Carpenter horror movies, and sound designer for films like the Star Trek franchise.
Below is a flickr set which offers some photos of my adventure including photos of the 9 Box plus some concert photos. I added captions to each photo so if you view the set on flicker itself you can see these descriptions – http://www.flickr.com/photos/markmosher/10647036556/in/set-72157637262339674.
Mountain Oasis exceed my expectations in every way. There probably around 7,000 people there which was a large enough number of attendees to make Asheville feel vibrant but not overrun. I felt the festival was well organized and there was a nice mix of artists. The Arena was perfect for bigger acts like NIN and Gary Numan. The 500 seat Diana Wortham was great for more intimate performances by Tara Busch and Alan Howarth. The Orange Peel housed more beat driven shows like Laurel Halo. Moving between venues was in itself interesting as people were in costumes and there were lots of talented street musicians playing.
3 days was the perfect length as by the end I was worn out – but in a good way. After experiencing Mountain Oasis it’s clear that AC Entertainment has hit their stride with this event and Moog Inc’s lack of participation and the name change didn’t phase them. I’d definitely go back.
Mountain Oasis Festival was just an incredible experience all the way around. One of the coolest music-related trips ever!!! HUGE thanks to:
- Michelle Moog-Koussa of the Bob Moog Foundation for inviting me out and including the 9 Box in Dr. Bob's Interactive Sonic Experience!!! It was so great to be a part of a vibrant music education program.
- All the players throughout the weekend
- Ken Jones from mountainsongguitars.com who provided the PA
- The Bob Moog Foundation's wonderful staff and volunteers
- BMF's Andi Morell & Marc Doty for helping me with logistics
- Geary Yelton and Susan Granados for being such amazing hosts
- Bert Schiettecatte for inventing the incredible AudioCubes
- Ableton for creating Live
- TheGigEasy for providing mic stand cube mounts
Electronic Musician | Composer | Sound Designer | Performer