Studio Binky were invited to take part in Sheffield's PubScrawl, an event where a selection of designers, musicians and artists were given a pub each to host for the night and do what they like with.
We were given The Washington, a multi-roomed pub usually found open late for jaeger bombs, snuff and alternative music.
With 3 rooms and a beer garden to fill we sectioned off the spaces into different experiences, the gig space my main focus.
As the self-styled 'spiritual home of music', we decided the Washington's primary space for music would be turned into a disco chapel of sorts. In it we placed the Random Rainbow Organ and The Oracle, alongside 'Ghost' paintings, a customised guitar and chapel pew.
The Random Rainbow Organ is a modified electric organ – a huge, insanely heavy instrument that we gutted and painted – whitewashing it and splashing a rainbow across some of its keys, switches and pedals.
Inside it we placed an amp and speaker setup, hooked up to a remote laptop that was playing a generative music system i'd created in Ableton Live – the sound of a kooky organ playing itself with a mixture of traditional and eclectic (mostly 8bit) instruments.
The generative system was built out of a series of randomised midi components, triggering varying notes, velocities and chords while locked within a particular harmonic scale.
A system was created for drums too, stripping out melodic restrictions while adding more variables for the percussive elements.
PubScrawl guests loved it, with many hoping to interact with it by pressing keys and flicking switches. Interaction is definitely the next step for the Random Rainbow Organ – hooking its keys up to midi triggers to allow for the control of effects using Native Instruments' The Finger.
At the end of the room, at the back of the stage, The Oracle hung; a projection-mapped animation displayed on a sculptural screen (reused from the HeliOscillator project I worked on with Noel Murphy (aka VDU).
The animation was a series of phasing coloured triangles and a cheeky animated face, all of which was reacting to the music from the Random Rainbow Organ, creating a reverential, synchronised space of colour, texture and music.
For a look at the other rooms in the pub, head here.