Imagine shooting lasers from your hands with each beat of a drum, combining with 14 other percussionists to charge an orb at the center of your collective focus. While it sounds like something out of a fantasy novel, "THE LIGHTWAVES" by pan Generator allowed people to have just such an experience.
The interactive sculpture was commissioned for the Męskie Granie music festival in Poland, and the entire installation covered around 300 square meters. It was assembled as arcing drums around the central floating orb, with 200 meters of addressable RGB LEDs connecting them to it. In use, each of these drums appeared to launch jagged lightning bolts towards it along with the sound — depending on the intensity of the banging.
THE LIGHTWAVES' hardware included an Arduino Nano and microphone on each of the drums, with a CAN bus setup for communication. Custom software enabled it to synchronize LED animations with projections on the huge helium-filled sphere in response to the drums. Making the installation even more impressive, the two-ton assembly was put together seven times, in different cities around Poland in the span of two months.
The build looks like a lot of fun for participants of all ages, seen in the video below. LEDs and lighting effects are difficult to fully convey on camera, and with the sound and atmosphere of a music festival, the experience must have been truly incredible.