BEAM DAY great success!

BEAM DAY was a lot of fun on Saturday – thanks to everyone who came and took part.  We had full workshops all day, with participants learning about advanced motion capture software created by Bruno Zamborlin and how to make music with a Kinect in workshops run by Codasign.  Alongside that, walk-up activities included Noisy Toys’ helping punters to dismantle old toys (one lady brought a fantastic looking plastic apple guitar!) and re-make them into noisy new instruments.  At one point about 8 people made hard drive bass speakers and the ensuing low frequencies were rocking the room nicely.  Over at the other end, we had Mike Blow demonstrating his futuristic Energy Ball Theremuino to some enthusiastic budding performers and Shirley Pegna asking BEAM DAY attendees to stick speakers on different parts of their bodies: that was pretty fun to watch too!  Finally, Alex Allmont had set up a Polytherelegomuino workshop where anyone could build a small part of his monster LEGO machine, all driven by moving axels and motors.  The challenge was to take the turning motion and make it make a nice sound.  One of the best submissions was from three Surrey University students who managed to make a LEGO digger that dug whilst making a great whirring-theremin sound!  At the end of the day we summed up with a competition and the ever enthusiastic Mike Cook won a fab-looking IMPULSE 49 from Focusrite/Novation for his highly original and very quirky Spoonduino – so named as it was literally performed with a spoon! We really liked the fluid aspect of the spoon as a controller: maybe this could give other touch-interface users more ideas about spherical applications to touch screens…??  The other entrants were also enthralling and highly inventive and the voting was very close indeed: it was great to see that the public was almost evenly split across the whole range of entrants.  We do hope that BEAM inspires and enables new inventors and we certainly had a lot of great feedback from everyone who came: 9 year olds to the retired, musicians, engineers, interested passers by and lots of keen students from Brunel, Surrey, Bristol and elsewhere.  Here’s hoping BEAM NIGHT will have the same lovely buzz (Wednesday 4th April at Cafe Oto) and thanks again to everyone who made BEAM DAY brilliant!

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