“Simon and the Animating Interface” entangles instrument design, experimental performance and theoretical research with an electronic toy named Simon. Central to the exploration is the ndial—a new instrument that combines automated processes with manual control, allowing players to navigate unpredictable trajectories through familiar sound worlds. The project’s performance component, Reconsidering the Pattern in Light of the System, features four ndial performers interacting with a system of sound and light governed by a gameplay borrowed from Simon.
Simon, released in 1978, was one of the most popular electronic toys of all time and serves as the project’s material and historical lens, connecting practical and theoretical threads leading to the concept of animating interfaces—lively thresholds where programs and people come to touch and play. Simon, the ndial, and animating interfaces encounter technical systems as vital creative agents and frame musical expression as emerging from the interplay of people, technology and sound.
Broadly, this project is a playground for navigating the systems with and within which we live—playing between binaries and across disciplines. With nothing to figure out, we are able to figure in.
Bussigel, Peter A.,
"Simon and the Animating Interface"
Computer Music and Multimedia Composition Theses and Dissertations.
Brown Digital Repository. Brown University Library.