Q: What ist “Paint My Bass”?
A: PMB is the little brother of Pimp My Ride.
A: An audio installation with a Bass Shaker – a loudspeaker producing frequencies from 20-100Hz. A visitor can plug-in an iPod and play. The heavy bass frequencies in the music are the ‘gas’ for the shaker to move and vibrate on a surface of Japanese handmade paper. While in motion, the shaker creates gestural marks with ink and brush.
Q: What kind of music works best?
A: Bass lines in the range from 20-100Hz. Mostly techno music is dealing in such a low realm. Noisemakers etc. would work too. With some pitch shifting any input can be mapped to the target range. Meaning it could also be performed live…
A: From all the tracks I tried, ‘AA XXX’ from ‘Peaches’ works best. It has a low and driving bass line that unfolds a miracle.
Q: How can one control it?
A: PMB has a manual and automatic mode. Manual mode allows one to lift and lower the brush, dispense ink, and rotate the arm. In automatic mode, sensors around the shaker detect contact with obstacles - the frame surrounding the paper. Subsequently it rotates the arm to the point of contact and lifts the brush in order to glide over frame.
Generally speaking nobody is fully in control. There are many factors like bass frequency and rhythm of the source music, as well as arm position, and other physical factors influencing where the shaker goes.
Q: Does the same track lead to the same output?
A: It leads to a similar result provided that such as starting point, volume, surface, etc. are similar. Regardless, it will always be a unique interpretation of a score.
Q: Does it make sense?
A: No, but don’t tell me big cars make any.
A: It’s not built to make sense, but it leaves traces.
A: As soon as you go for a ride with it you will understand what it is about.