interface for controlling sound and light

since 2009

cave Byčí skála, then cave Výpustek, then Moravian gallery Brno

Electronic hardware solution : Jiří Šafář
stainless steel, plexiglass, plaster, led, custom electronics, Max/msp



  Meduse is electronic instrument for controlling Sonicave installation, but can be played also alone. It is built for the collective sonic improvisation and exploring.

  It consists of ten touch zones with capacitive sensors that triggers sound sources (sampler, synth, sequencer).

  Five distance infrared sensors in the middle of the object act as a modulators for this sound sources. One modulator modifies several sources so the relationship is more complicated to explore.

 The sound engine is done in max/msp. It was my first project in max/msp.

 The object was built for the cave environment, so it’s suited for the falling drops. Even drops triggered the sounds sometimes.

 This sensory interface is filled with lights that are miniature of the Sonicave light system. The led are drenched into the synthetic resin. Form for the resin was made of the stones taken from the cave. 

Microspace – macrospace


MEDUZA_na Multiplace

/ At Multiplace 2011, gallery Enter, Bratislava /


 The sound engine is done in max/msp. Meduse is is connected to max/msp via serial communication through the Wiring board.

 I didn’t use any arduino board (as usually). All the lights are controlled with several Atmega168 in custom built printed-circuit-board  made by Jiří Šafář.


Important part of sensor—>sound processing is done in patch scaler. I wrote this patch (in 2008) to scale raw and linear data from IR sensors into the any possible scale. So the playability is different to Theremin like playing, because you can be always in tune. Some zones uses looping samplers with controllable start/end loop points and filtering. This produce another type of untuned sounds. Some of the sounds are distributed with ambisonic~ into the 10.1 sound system. Other touch zones are connected to their own speakers placed on the cave walls.



Experimental concert inside Sonicave installation.

Electronic sounds from Meduse were reproduced in 10.1 sound system placed on the cave walls. Acoustic instruments was not amplified.

Cave acoustic mixed all this into the final sound form.


medusa / installation /concept > Jiri Suchanek

flute / sax > Jan Kyncl

drums > Stepan Svoboda

costumes > Antiperla





 During the developement of the object I passed several interesting phases. First presentation of the Meduse was at 2009 at cave “Býčí skála” at Moravian Karst. The interior of the Meduse was raw. The anti-humidity solution was not included so lot of condensation appears. Visually impressive but the durability of circuits would be very short. After first presentation the cavers from the Moravian Karst asked me to remove Medusa and the whole Sonicave installation into the public cave Výpustek. It was done in summer 2009. During the winter 2010 (when cave attendance was minimal) I improved the Meduse interior. 

 At the beginning of the season 2010 Meduse was installed into the Výpustek cave. It is ordinarily visited tourist cave with strange history (atomic shelter, army factory during second world war, sorcery rituals…). But the reaction of the tourist visitors was quite complicated. At first moment the object was too way complicated to understand. But after a while some of them starts to enjoying the playability and stay for long time at Meduse. It broked the tourist group very often. It was quite big problem for the guides. So we decide to unistall the Meduse and use it only for some special occasions. I’ve made there several concerts…

  The meduse was then presented at few galleries and clubs. Fun part of that was that the modeling clay used in interior wasn’t prepared for the hot environment (transport in the car with hot sun shining). It melted. And I like it! So the melted design I found as finished phase of the Meduse. 

in the cave

MEDUSA_Vypustek_webMeduse in the cave Výpustek inside Sonicave sound and light installation