Sonic Baton (2012-)

The Sonic Baton is a unique performance instrument based on a conductor’s baton; designed by Dr Mike Blow, from an idea by artist Joseph Young. The baton is a midi controller for ‘conducting noise’. 

Young says “I was fed up with going to sound art performances where the artist  sat behind their laptop with no obvious physical relationship to the sounds they were making. So I came up with the concept of the Sonic Baton, which serves as a visual focus for the audience, whilst also concentrating the attention on the listening process.

Listening is at the heart of my practice, and my materials are detailed and textured field recordings. Through the movement of the baton I can mix sounds ‘live’ in real-time offering a performative way of listening to the sounds of the world around us.”

Technical note:
An orchestral conductor’s baton modified with an accelerometer, connected to a custom-made Arduino board that translates movement into midi data. This data is transmitted to the laptop via a specialist Max/MSP patch which interfaces with control software Ableton Live.

Below are some example videos filmed in performance…