Music/Theatre Performance Technologies

NRI has developed a few novel technologies providing vibrant new aspects and experiences to music and theatrical performance. NRI plans to return to artistic endeavors in the future, likely in a separate operating or business division.

1. Performance Environments Supporting Interactions Among Performers and Self-Organizing Processes

This is the most unusual and ponderous artistic technology developed over NRI’s history. The technology provides systems for supporting performer interactions with a self-organizing chemical reaction based on monitoring and interpretation of a controllable self-organizing chemical reaction contained within a reaction vessel. The self-organizing chemical reaction initially includes two or more constituent chemical reactants which may be controllably replenished. Controller elements, responsive to reaction control signals, influence the reaction. Reaction control signals are generated by a processor in response to incoming performance signals. Selectable control-conversion algorithms may be used for this purpose, permitting an incoming performance signal to responsively influence the self-organizing chemical reaction. One or more electrodes or chemical sensors, a video camera, or other monitoring devices may be used to monitor the chemical reaction and produce outgoing control signals for controlling synthesizers, signal processing, lighting, or video synthesis. Outgoing control signals are created by interpreting monitoring signals according to selectable algorithms. Video camera signals may be displayed or projected in a visual performance environment. A small-scale artistic (visual only) performance was apparently independently presented as Scale Free Network’s first live performance (“Grand Eye and Ear Ball,” The OtherFilm Festival, The Old Museum, Brisbane Australia, 2007).

2. Controlled Light Sculptures for Visual Effects in Music Performance Applications

This NRI technology provides controlled light sculptures suggestive of instrument elements and rotating speakers associated with contemporary music performances. Control signals for these may be responsive to musical signals, user controls, floor controls, and other types of controllers, and the control signals may comprise MIDI, DMX, analog voltage, serial ports, digital logic signals, or other control signal formats.

  • Array of light columns or pyramids visually emulate organ pipes, instrument strings, and the like, via controllable light sources responsive to light control signals.
  • Rotating speaker systems are visually emulated using a controllable light source configured to emit visible light responsive to an incoming light control signal. The system also includes a rotating light-travel modulation element for creating visual motion of light distribution employing light emitted by the light source. The visual motion provided by the light-travel modulation element is responsive to an incoming motion control signal.

3. Musical Instrument Lighting for Visual Performance Effects

This NRI technology comprises ornamental controllable light sources attachable to or built into musical instrument which selectively emit light responsive to provided control signals which can be responsive to musical signals, user controls, floor controls, MIDI signals, and control types of control signals.

Issued Patents

TitlePatent NumberApplication NumberPriority DatesPDFText OnlyRelated Patents
Performance Environments Supporting Interactions Among Performers and Self-Organizing Processes7,217,87810/676,16505/15/1999PDFText Music/Theatre Performance Technologies

Pending Patents

TitlePublication NumberApplication NumberPriority DatesPDFText OnlyRelated Patents
Controlled Light Sculptures For Visual Effects In Music Performance Applications2005/012637411/004,74605/15/1999PDFTextMusic/Theatre Performance Technologies
Musical Instrument Lighting For Visual Performance Effects2005/012637311/004,44905/15/1999PDFText Music/Theatre Performance Technologies

Pending Unpublished Applications

TitleApplication NumberPriority DatesRelated Patents