Play Ongaku

An ongoing Project …The work is best described is a micro-mechanical, orchestrated collection of sticks. An object oriented percussion ensemble made up of 6 hand made interactive speaker enclosures that house visual and kinetic assemblages (such as graphic design, found objects, pendulums, mallets). Combined mechanical and digital components with other miscellaneous electronic elements to control object movement and the playback of sampled and live acoustic sound.

Three of the 6 assemblages exhibited at the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre Exposé Program Exhibition 2015
Electronics signal flow for the individual assemblages. Sketch by Damian Castaldi.

Mixed media assemblages: Photo media (print on 300 gsm William Turner 100% cotton paper), 7mm plywood frame & clear acrylic housing, acrylic paint, varnish, electronic components (mini servo motor, IF sensor, Electret microphone, Arduino Uno R3, micro SDHC card, mp3 shield, LM386 audio amplifier, Shielded 3″ 15W  8-Ohm speaker, 9V power supply, other electronic components including jumper wore, audio leads, stackable headers, switches, breadboard, etc), various found objects including tin toy car wheels, bakelite phone bells, springs, beads and hand made pendulums.

Exhibitions of this work in various forms include:

PLAY FOR TIME I CASTALDI I KERSHAW. A Blue Mountains Cultural Centre Exposé Program Exhibition – 19 September to 1 November, 2015.

ACMC 2015. The 2015 Annual Conference of the Australasian Computer Music Association at the University of Technology Sydney, Friday the 20th November. Download Artist Talk

Orchestra of Sticks. Solo exhibition at Gallery ONE 88 Katoomba, 15th to the 27th January, 2019.

Still from the Solo Exhibition at Gallery ONE 88, Katoomba 2019
Wobbly Video with Sound from the Solo exhibition at Gallery ONE 88, Katoomba 2019

This audiovisual installation is made up of three mixed media, kinetic assemblages fixed onto individual panels and attached to wall mounted wooden frames. Each assemblage consists of found objects, photo and paint media, mini servo motors, amplifiers and speakers with external and internal micro electronic components created to produce orchestrated stick movement and random sound. The stillness of the three panels can be interrupted, brought to life by a singular presence made in close proximity to external infra-red sensors fitted to the front of each panel. Without this physical interaction the panels will remain motionless and silent and simply exist as a bunch of mechanical wooden assemblages, some miniature percussion instruments and found objects sitting on a wall.

The subject matter of each panel refers to a theme made up of manufactured or found objects (such as antique model car wheels, metal springs, hand made miniature mallets, metal bell gongs from a model 302 bakelite phone). They are then completed with works in print media and acrylic paint, which among other graphic elements represent the Japanese symbol, to enjoy sound, known as ongaku. The music of Japan includes a wide array of performers in distinct styles both traditional and modern. The word for music in Japanese is ⾳音楽 (ongaku), combining the kanji ⾳音 (“on” sound) with the kanji 楽 (“gaku” enjoy). This work combines aspects of ongaku with random mechanical stick orchestration, triggered digital sound files and location sound picked up from the immediate assemblage environment by small electret microphones embedded in two of the works.

The process of making a cabinet.