The first stage is a research and development stage in association with a specific library. I will be working with the staff at St Thomas Library in Exeter to produce my work.
The initial idea for research and development is as follows:
To build a device that will read a barcode from a book or a library card and then play a unique piece of music based on the data provided from the scan.
This device may be a portable / wearable unit with a scanner and headphones that can be taken around the library to explore a variety of books. Alternatively it may be a stand alone unit with speakers or headphones sited in the library, close to the issue / return points. Visitors could then scan their books as they return or issue them.
The unit could be produced in the FabLab using the 3D printers and laser cutter as I have done with earlier machines.
The music that is generated from the barcode scan may be a single line melody or a more complex piece with several voices. It is possible that the user will be able to select a style of piece they wish to hear or it may be random.
As you will appreciate this is a very quick overview of the idea. There are many issues that will be considered, rejected or validated within the research stage. However, the underlying concept will remain constant.
On Wednesday 28th November I had my first meeting and discussion with the Library Manager Lee Rawlings. Lots of ideas were discussed and this presented many new ideas to explore. The main ones were to have a sort of 'bonus ball' book or books where something completely different happens (musically) when it's scanned. Also many thoughts about the design and practicality of the device; at present I'm thinking it will be in the style of an old Geiger counter, with a vu meter in it.
I have arranged to return next Wednesday with some more formal ideas and a basic working model that we can then discuss and plan the next steps before the final proposal is submitted on 17th December.