Zoeken naar bakens in het Landschap
Looking for landmarks
By Maya Verlaak & Patrick Verlaak

A walk in Italy's landscape. In collaboration with artist Patrick Verlaak.
With help from Matteo Marangoni I developed a little Arduino car which moved on sound. I was able to set one central pitch which would make the car go straight forward, everything lower would make the car, in degrees go to the left, anything higher, would make to car drive right. The dynamics of the musicians playing would make to car drive faster or slower.
I attached a pen to the car, so it would draw when it moves on sound.
The score of the musician controlling the car is the map/a drawing of Patrick Verlaak's walking route in a landscape.
This was an exact pitch calculation try out, starting from Patrick Verlaak's drawing and the car program parameters:

This piece has 3 versions. The idea started when I wanted to make a piece for Robert de Bree and his Paetsold instrument. He would be controlling the car and there was a fixed audio tape with footstep sounds in the forrest, playing in the background. Robert performed it twice, once at the Spring Festival in The Hague Conservatoire and once at the opening of Patrick Verlaak's exhibition at 'Campo Santo' chapel in Sint amandsberg (BE).
There was no recording made of these performance but I have this picture from one of the first rehearsals with Robert and the car:

The second version of this piece was for Orchestra. I was asked to write a piece for the VU kamerorkest in Amsterdam.
In this version I added a lot of musical material.
I devided the orchestra is several groups and only one of the groups controlls the car. The others have a conventional score and that score is cued by the position of the car on the map.
The score of the musicians controlling the car is the map/a drawing of Patrick Verlaak's walking route in a landscape. All musicians have a microphone connected, the signal goes to my computer with a Maxmsp program controlling the arduino of the car.
The orchestra is timed and so conducted by the drawing car.


The third version was a special version for Patrick Verlaak's exhibition in Italy, at 'Museo della Madonna del Parto' in Monterchi, Toscany, (IT)
Here, two people, me and Robert Blatt sang and read text, the car would move when we sang. Here there was again an audio tape playing in the background.

Patrick Verlaak website: here

The video of the orchestral performance and a video of the version for two voices: