Photolin : Luminous Bow

Parsons MFA Design + Technology
New York, NY

Design Prompt - Instrument

April 2015
Materials & Software
Interface Hardware
Laser Cut Plexi

Photolin is a light sensitive electronic musical instrument based on the form of a violin. The most distinctive feature of the instrument is its programmable LED bow. The body of the Photolin contains two photoresistors which detect the light emanating from the bow and translate this information to determine the output volume. On the fretboard, a ribbon sensor detects the player's finger position to determine the pitch of the note produced.

An accompanying Max patch allows the player to calibrate the instrument's light and ribbon sensors as well as determine the pattern produced by the bow. Patterns include all, gradient, random, and variable speed pulse modes for the player to experiment with.