musical patterns

“And if, in addition to the creation of images, the act of drawing was producing sounds?”
The device Grapholine, by drawing on a screen, generates sound in real time.

Grapholine is a digital musical instrument created by Blue Yeti which generates sound in real time, by drawing on a screen.

The device Grapholine was originally designed for the composition and real-time interpretation of the electroacoustic piece Demus. This piece intends to use the expressiveness of gesture drawing for musical purposes: the artist becomes a musician and plunges the listener into the heart of his creation.

The original intention was to bring the drawing and the music closer at the time of the work production, that is to say, when the artist uses gestures to produce a design or music. How the intent, manifested in the gesture of the artist when he realizes the drawing, can be transposed in music? This is a questioning of the gestural intent ambiguity whether it’s done in a graphic or a musical context.

Then, Grapholine has been used by Blue Yeti during performances combining visual and sound creations and is now the subject of a multimedia educational kit in Charente-Maritime, with the participation of the Francas Federation and the social Centres Federation of Charente-Maritime and with the assistance of the Departmental Directorate of Youth and Sports and the FCA.

Presentation of the device
Unlike an acoustic instrument, whose tones and sounds are defined by its physical characteristics, Grapholine is a digital musical instrument that allows each performer to customize the sound identity of the instrument, leaving a lot of freedom in creating and interpretation.

Grapholine has an interface to choose the color and type of pencil that you want to use to draw. Every color and type of mine is a sound sample obtained from a “sound bank” stored in the device. When the user draws, the sound sample corresponding to the color and mine will be read and transformed according to the movements made with the pen on the graphic tablet.

It is also possible to add new sounds to the sound bank, to modify the association sounds – color / pencil and adjust how the characteristics of the movements made with the pen (pressure, speed, curvature…) will act on the sound sample.

The device makes it possible to divert drawing gestures from their first goal of and to use them for the purpose of sound design.