BioData to Midi with the Open Source MIDI Bio-Sonification Module

“Bio-sonification,” basically means using technology to turn the bio-rhythms of natural objects into sound.


Biodata Sonification is a process to translate complex real-time sensor data into musical notes and controls, exploring the auditory sensory modality to provide insights into invisible phenomenon.

Seacliff life along Húnaflói Bay, Iceland.

As an artist, I am interested in how all things sense and communicate. Directly connecting to our surrounding biology. Electrodes are attached to non-human organisms and pick up subtle fluctuations in galvanic conductance on the surface of these organisms. These fluctuations are translated to MIDI using technology based off of the original MIDI Sprout. Through sampling pulse widths and identifying fluctuations, MIDI note and control messages are generated, which are then sent into analogue and digital synthesizers.

I was so excited by my first experiments of attaching electrodes onto Mycelium (I started growing Mycelium in February 2018) that I immediately wanted to share this experience with everyone! This spawned Midnight Mushroom Music and I am wholly devoted! Every Saturday night at 23:00/11pm EST a new episode goes live through the Mycelium Network (aka Soundcloud & iTunes).  

Bio-sonification workshop: non-human collaboration (mycelium to midi and beyond!) Tuesday and Thursday, December 11th & 13th 7pm-10pm $120/pp  (Early bird pricing $95 – reserve your seat before Oct 20th). 
Collaborate sonically with the non-human organisms around you. Next time you go on a picnic bring along your Bio-sonification Module & listen to the sounds of the forest, how it responds to your presence then, place the electrodes onto your friends or hook up your houseplant and see how it really feels!
Students receive step by step guidance putting together their own Bio-Sonification Module kit and help in understanding how the device works. Once kits are built participants are shown how to change Midi scales/channels, LED brightness and more with Arduino. We will discuss MIDI and how it works.
Last half of the workshop participants place electrodes onto plants, fungi, themselves or each other and listen to their Bio-data through Ableton Live, Animoog, Model 15 (or similar digital music apps and analogue synths) creating a Bio-Sonification Symphony!

Various plants, soil and Mycelium will be available during the workshop for
participants to place their electrodes onto along with iConnectivity Midi to USB/Lightning connectors for participants to try out different instruments/software; Ableton, Animoog on iPad, Model 15 (on iPhone & iPad), Moog Mother32s, Make Noise NoCoast, etc. Other possibilities are shown and discussed, for instance, Ableton Max/MSP Midi video disruption!

Each participant receives their very own Bio-Sonification Module kit, a Module container file that they can 3D print offsite and a lo-tech version we will put together during the workshop, a set of electrodes and electrode pads or electrode clips (participants can choose during the workshop). The Bio-Sonification Modules were created by Tosca Teran with the assistance of Manuel Domke and Sam Cusumano!

Prerequisite? Using a soldering iron is super helpful as we will be soldering electrical components to circuit boards (We will also show people how-to). Some Ableton Live knowledge is helpful, but not necessary!
Please bring any of the following: a laptop with Ableton live installed or Smartphone or iPad with the Animoog app or Model 15 app installed or Mini Moog Model D!  Please bring headphones.
Try Live for free (30 day trial) https://www.ableton.com/en/trial/

USB/Lightning connectors by iConnectivity will be available for participants to try out with their iPads/iPhones/Androids (and purchase) or purchase ahead of class through Moog Audio!

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Pate de Verre workshop, November 6th


Pate de Verre workshop – Participants learn how to fill a pre-made mould of a small bowl with glass paint, glass powder and fine glass -frit-, the moulds are then fired and participants return to the studio to divest and finish their bowls.  $130/pp Materials included, no experience necessary!  Next workshop Tuesday, November 6th & 13th, 6:30-10pm
 

Students learn the basics of pâte de verre from start to finish while making a thin-walled, kiln formed bowl. Students have access to a broad palette of coloured frit (crushed glass) and samples to help predict and understand fired qualities. Demonstrations include various techniques of working with glass powders against the mold, working with color reactions, as well as how to back-fill a packed mold to support the walls of the piece during firing.   

Metal + Glass 4-week course Starts up November 5th

Learn how to form, fabricate, solder, set-stones in our 4 wk Metal + Glass course, etch, cast and more!

Almar’s cuttlebone cast from a 4/wk course in Iceland

Metal + Glass 4-week course Starts up November 5th and runs – 8 evenings. Monday & Wednesday 6:30-9:30pm  $285/pp Pay in full or put down a deposit. December dates below. 

evening #1: First evening: working with copper: safety, drilling, sawing. Adding textures.

evening #2: Making a ring band out of silver (stamp, hammer finish, roller print, etc.)

evening #3: Working with wax create pieces w/the lost wax technique- to be cast in Sterling silver* or bronze.

evening #4: Finishing wax projects, invest models for casting in Metal. Waxes for metal casting are weighed and calculated (*sterling runs $2.50/grm. Lab fee includes 20 grams of sterling silver casting grain). Lo-tech casting with Cuttlefish bone.

evening #5: Cast moulds in sterling silver or bronze! Remove glass pieces from moulds.

evening #6: Enameling copper projects, forming, how to make your own basic findings.

evening #7: Bezel settings cabochon stones or fossils or crystals, or an enamelled or Fused glass piece.

evening #8: Finish up projects

Sculpting Mycelium Workshops

Mycelium

(my·ce·li·um \mī-ˈsē-lē-əm\) the mass of interwoven filamentous hyphae that forms especially the vegetative portion of the thallus of a fungus and is often submerged in another body (as of soil or organic matter or the tissues of a host)  A.K.A. — mushroom roots

Tosca was recently interviewed by, Ecovative Designs. Check out her interview here, https://ecovativedesign.com/blog/178

Sculpting with Mycelium: working with environmentally friendly, renewable materials
Tuesday evening,  September 18th 7pm-9pm.

Bio-materials are grown over several days, participants meet up every 5th or 6th evening after the first start-up date to check on their Mycelium’s growth and/or sculpt or desiccate their forms! $60/pp includes:
1 round planter growth form
1 bag of Hemp substrate inoculated with Mycelium
Sculpting mix
Nitrile gloves
Particulate masks
Mycelium food
GIY instructions
1 Succulent to plant into their finished Mycelium planters!

Grow-It-Yourself Mushroom® Material is the perfect way to bring your Earth-friendly creations to life! Whether you have a product idea in mind, or just want to experiment with the material at home, GIY Mushroom® Material is meant for you! This workshop includes everything you need to grow a round (or square) planter, as well as hand-sculpt a small form! Evening 1 we start with an introduction and demonstrate how this growth material works, as well as discuss Mycelium; what it is, its benefits to us and our environment. Then everyone feeds their Mycelium and leaves them to rest in a safe, cozy dark place until the next workshop evening!
Evening 2: WOW look how you’ve grown! Your Mycelium has grown and consumed its substrate. Now we gently, yet firmly work with our Mycelium through sculpting with special media and/or using forms to grow our planters!
After forming/sculpting the Mycelium is again placed into a dark, cozy space where it can happily grow to fill or cover our structures!
Evening 3: Your planter/sculpture is ready for desiccation and use! Everyone unpacks their forms, weighs them and then we bake them until they weigh approximately 35% less then pre-desiccated weight. Participants also have the option to dry their forms at home. Once dried we plant our lovely succulents and marvel over nature!

Organic tea, coffee and snacks will be offered during workshop evenings.
This workshop takes place at our Queen Street West location!
906 Queen Street West at Crawford.

August Pate de Verre & Flame-working Workshops

As if August isn’t hot enough we’ve added some glass workshops to our Tuesday evenings! Pate de Verre (paste of glass) is a technique that allows for precise colour placement and painting or sifting glass into images using stencils. Flameworking off-mandrel: typography & nature teaches methods of sculpting glass under a torch. Heat control, using tools and gravity to shape and form molten glass.


Pate de Verre workshops – Participants learn how to fill a pre-made mould of a small bowl with glass paint, glass powder and fine glass -frit-, the moulds are then fired and participants return to the studio to divest and finish their bowls.  $130/pp Materials included, no experience necessary!  Next workshop Tuesday, August 28th 6:30-10pm
 

Students learn the basics of pâte de verre from start to finish while making a thin-walled, kiln formed bowl. Students have access to a broad palette of coloured frit (crushed glass) and samples to help predict and understand fired qualities. Demonstrations include various techniques of working with glass powders against the mold, working with color reactions, as well as how to back-fill a packed mold to support the walls of the piece during firing.   No experience necessary. All materials provided

Glass Flameworking- off mandrel typography, leaves & other forms. Tuesday evenings August 14/21 6:30-10pm, 3 student max  $150/pp 

Create letters, shapes, leaves and other 2D forms using a torch, tweezers and other glass working tools. No experience necessary. All materials provided.

Participants sculpt and form small glass pieces they can use to create jewellery, sculptural works, fused forms/tiles or just to keep as objects. Studio safety, how-to operate a bench mounted torch, basic flameworking tools and working with soft-medium hard glass is demonstrated. Annealing glass is thoroughly discussed along with how-to set up your flameworking space/studio at home.

 

Metal & Glass & Vitrigraph!

Learn how to form, fabricate, solder, set-stones in our 4 wk Metal + Glass course, etch, cast and more!

Metal + Glass 4-week course Starts up August 13th – 8 evenings. Monday & Wednesday 6:30-9:30pm $285/pp Pay in full or put down a deposit.

evening #1: First evening: working with copper: safety, drilling, sawing. Adding textures.evening #2: Making a ring band out of silver (stamp, hammer finish, roller print, etc.)

evening #3: Working with wax create pieces w/the lost wax technique- to be cast in Sterling silver* or bronze.

evening #4: Finishing wax projects, invest models for casting in Glass and Metal (separately) Waxes for metal casting are weighed and calculated (*sterling runs $2.50/grm. Lab fee includes 15grams of sterling silver casting grain). Lo-tech casting with Cuttlefish bone.

evening #5: Cast moulds in sterling silver or bronze! Remove glass pieces from moulds.

evening #6: Enameling copper projects, forming, how to make your own basic findings.

evening #7: Bezel settings cabochon stones or fossils or crystals, or an enamelled or Fused glass piece.

evening #8: Finish up projects


No experience necessary!

 

Copper, wax, glass, and some sterling silver are supplied*.  A list of local suppliers is included.   Questions concerning this course? Please see our FAQ’s

What’s included:
Approx 4×5” piece of copper sheet, 2’ copper wire, sterling silver for 1 ring band, fine silver bezel wire to set 1 cabochon cut stone. Glass is included for casting/flame-working (whatever method is covered), silver solder to complete class projects, wax, bronze/brass for lost wax casting (20grams) & powdered vitreous enamel, 1 doz saw blades, 1 1mm drill bit, 1 half face particulate respirator, nitrile gloves, refractory materials for casting moulds.  Students are encouraged to supply their own cabochon cut stones, crystals, rocks, etc.

Additional materials not included: cabochon cut stone(s), sterling silver grain for lost wax castings, sterling silver sheet/plate for setting stones on/constructing other pieces.  Sterling silver casting grain may be purchased at $2.50gram.

The lab fees offer tools and materials for students to continue projects at home and start setting-up their own studio. Lab fee 2 (kit) Option 2 Please see below class descriptions for what is included in this option.
Lab fee 1 $125.00 (optional) what it includes:
adjustable jeweller’s bench pin, jeweller’s saw frame, 1 gross (144) jeweller’s saw blade assortment, 15 grams of sterling silver casting grain, 1 3×3” sterling silver plate
Lab fee 1

 

 

 

Vitrigraph workshop: Pulling cane and murrini making tiles and bowls. Saturday & Sunday August 18/19/25/26  $350 pp includes all materials, instruction, firing/slumping times. 10am – 5pm (break for lunch at 1pm). Deposit of half accepted via eTransfer to nanotopia@me.com

Working with Bullseye crucibles and glass students learn how to cut glass and set it up for the Vitrigraph kiln. Working in teams students assist each other in pulling their cane/murrini and shapes. Students cut-up, slice and design their tiles/plates. Work is then fused over the week. Students can then slump their tiles into bowl forms. Students will learn how to make their own slumping forms using various refractory materials. 

Update to Flame-Working demo: Wednesday evening. Please RSVP if you plan to attend.

Due to unexpected events over the long weekend, I have had to move the Flame-working demos to Wednesday evening. Please RSVP IF you plan to attend: nanotopia@me.com

Want to check out what Flame-Working is all about? Wednesday evening, May 23rd  7pm demonstrations will be held in mandrel-wound glass bead making. Afterward, visitors are invited to try making a bead (or 2, depending on popularity). Beads made this evening can be picked up the following Open Studio (which takes place Thursday, May 24th).

flame working
Flame-working

Evening demonstrations introduce the basics of mandrel-wound glass bead making by the process of flameworking (lampworking) shaping glass at a bench-mounted, surface-mix oxygen/propane torch. Safety is discussed, various tools used for shaping, sculpting, and how to clean up your beads after they’ve annealed.

Annealing temperatures are explained and covered.

Special Summer Open Studio

24/7 Open Studio time Members have access to the studio facilities 24/7 June thru August* membership is $175/mo and includes access to studio tools, and equipment (contact us in advance if you require any equipment orientation).

Subscribe to membership online or via eTransfer (eTransfer to nanotopia@me.com) For this Summer’s special deal 1st & last is required up front. 

Email the studio for further details, or come by Thursday, May 17 or 24 – meet & greet, sign an agreement and receive a key fob.


Materials and consumables are not included in Open Studio time – you need to supply your own saw blades, solder, drill bits, wax, metal, enamel powders, stones, etc. Assistance/guidance is not included, however you need to know what you are doing and how to properly/safely operate equipment, tools, and torches. If you are unfamiliar with some of the industrial/dangerous (chop off fingers, burn off your scalp equipment we suggest taking a beginning workshop or 4wk course). Orientations on how to operate our kilns needs to be booked in advance of kiln use please.

Local Suppliers: Gesswein and sells metal working supplies. Imperial Products (now called Umicore)supplies sterling silver, and gold in sheet form, wire, solder, tubing, etc. For casting your wax models there are a number of casting companies in Toronto: HL located at 59 Adelaide East, just west of Church street. Ready Mounts Casting– on Victoria close to Dundas Square, Procast– located in the 21 Dundas building, 7th floor.

nanopod is a non-smoking environment. Please refrain from wearing heavy perfumes, hair spray, soaps and smoking under the awning/in front of the studio.

BYOHP= Bring your own head phones! At nanopod- music is life. That said, if you don’t like electronic, ambient, classical, and the generally bizarre, please bring your own tunes/headphones 🙂

 

Late Summer & early Fall Metal + Glass dates are up!

Learn how to form, fabricate, solder, set-stones in our
4 wk Metal + Glass course, etch, cast and more!

Metal + Glass 4-week course Starts up August 13th or September 10th • 8 evenings. Monday & Wednesday 6:30-9:30pm $285/pp (*after registering please email over your start date)

evening #1: First evening: working with copper: safety, drilling, sawing. Adding textures.evening #2: Making a ring band out of silver (stamp, hammer finish, roller print, etc.)

evening #3: Working with wax create pieces w/the lost wax technique- to be cast in Sterling silver or bronze.

evening #4: Finishing wax projects, invest models for casting in Glass and Metal (separately) Waxes for metal casting are weighed and calculated (sterling runs $2.50/grm unless lab fee has been purchased).

evening #5: Cast moulds in sterling silver or bronze! Remove glass pieces from moulds.

evening #6: Enameling copper projects, forming, how to make your own basic findings.

evening #7: Bezel settings cabochon stones or fossils or crystals, or an enamelled or Fused glass piece.

evening #8: Finish up projects

No experience necessary!

Copper, wax, glass, and some sterling silver are supplied*.  A list of local suppliers is included.   Questions concerning this course? Please see our FAQ’s

What’s included:
Approx 4×5” piece of copper sheet, 2’ copper wire, sterling silver for 1 ring band, fine silver bezel wire to set 1 cabochon cut stone. Glass is included for casting/flame-working (whatever method is covered), silver solder to complete class projects, wax, bronze/brass for lost wax casting (20grams) & powdered vitreous enamel, 1 doz saw blades, 1 1mm drill bit, 1 half face particulate respirator, nitrile gloves, refractory materials for casting moulds.  Students are encouraged to supply their own cabochon cut stones, crystals, rocks, etc.

Additional materials not included: cabochon cut stone(s), sterling silver grain for lost wax castings, sterling silver sheet/plate for setting stones on/constructing other pieces.  Sterling silver casting grain may be purchased at $2.50gram.

The lab fees offer tools and materials for students to continue projects at home and start setting-up their own studio. Lab fee 2 (kit) Option 2 Please see below class descriptions for what is included in this option.
Lab fee 1 $125.00 (optional) what it includes:
adjustable jeweller’s bench pin, jeweller’s saw frame, 1 gross (144) jeweller’s saw blade assortment, 15 grams of sterling silver casting grain, 1 3×3” sterling silver plate
Lab fee 1

 

 



Metal + Glass Lab Fee 2: $357.00  

Lab fee 2

Set contains:
  • Jeweller’s Saw
  • Third Hand
  • Half Round Medium Cut File
  • Burnisher
  • 1 dozen Cut 0 Saw Blades
  • 1 gross (144) Saw blade assortment
  • AA Fine Tweezers
  • Shears
  • 1 set half-round Sanding Sticks
  • Ring Mandrel
  • Butane Torch
  • Dividers 4
  • Ring Clamp
  • Polishing Cloth
  • Needle File Handle
  • Locking Tweezers
  • Pin Vise
  • Soldering Board
  • Ball Pein Hammer
  • Round Nose Pliers
  • Scribe
  • Wood Dapping Block & Punches
  • Sidecutters 5
  • Silver Solder
  • 3×3” sterling silver plate
  • 15 grams of sterling silver casting grain
  • 12″x12″ sheet of 24 Gauge Copper
  • 6pc File Set
  • Chain Nose Pliers
  • Bench Knife
All items come with a plastic tool box.

Sonatona Gemstones visiting Nanopod Studio Monday May 7

Super exciting news! Pop on over to the studio tomorrow evening Monday, May 7th  between 7pm – 8pm Sonatona gemstones will be in da Haus! Sonatona is bringing along a wide selection of cabochon cut stones for you to drool over.

Everyone is welcome!  Students and non-nano students.  Cash or credit accepted.