MIDI2DMX provides a simple way to get total control over a wide variety of lights - using existing music software (Ableton Live, Logic, Bitwig, Garage Band, Pro Tools etc), as well as hardware midi sequencers like the Akai MPC series, the Elektron Octatrack, Alesis MMT-8, etc. It allows for easy interfacing with programming environments like Pure Data, MaxMSP, and Processing.
This makes it easy to sequence lights for live music performances, do algorithmic light programming, map lights using sound analysis, data from the internet, or sensor data etc.
It unlocks cheap DJ lights turning them into flexible and expressive tools/instruments.
I designed a PCB to make the circuit easy to build, and have assembled quite a number of them with students in my interactivity courses at Portland Community College. There is no wiring, it's a quick project and costs around $40 total.
As Lead Designer of Parallel Studios our small team created a public, interactive sound and light installation on Pioneer Square. It was up for a the weekend of June 24th - 26, 2016.
Exchange was intuitively playable as an instrument by anyone walking by. When you got close to a group of tubes they would light up brightly and a tone would play. The simplicity of the interaction led to thousands of members of the public enthusiastically playing with all weekend.
This was a 3 week sprint from concept to deployment - I was the technical lead, sole programmer and co-designer. I programmed two Teensy microcontrollers to read 18 ultrasonic rangefinder sensors - which in turn triggered sound I designed and programmed in Pure Data. I programmed light control using a third Teensy and sent DMX from Pure Data which we in turn wired to DMX relays and 72 tubes we filled with bright LED strips. I implemented the sound design in Pure Data using Karplus-Strong synthesis, and spatialized to 9 channels of audio in a circular array.
Client: Houseguest / Pioneer Courthouse Square
Date Created: June, 2016
Light Noise was a collaboration between myself and Lu Yim, with dancers keyon gaskin, Taka Yamamoto, and Leah Wilmoth
It was performed at Disjecta August 23rd, 24th, and 25th of 2013.
It was reviewed here.
I wrote a blog entry about some of my technical process for Light Noise here.
An improvisation using the software I wrote (using Pure Data) for Light Noise is available here, and can also be heard in the video below.
Parallel collaborated with Second Story to create a soundscape for the release of OZO, Nokia’s new virtual reality camera. Using over 30 distinct channels of audio and a variety of speakers, Parallel’s sonic design was integrated into the architectural layout of the entire 42,000 sq ft event space. Attendees entered the space through a winding corridor that continually swept sounds up and down the hallway, before emerging into the main event area where unique soundtracks were highlighting the bar, live feed, and keynote areas. Drawing from the surround sound capacities of OZO, Parallel created a soundscape that evoked a sense of motion, space, and wonder.
I programmatically spatialized all of the audio in realtime using Pure Data - and programmed an interface so that we could do site-specific mixing and composition in the unique event space.
Client: NOKIA | SECOND STORY
Date Created: Spring, 2016
Parallel was commissioned by Boora Architects to create a permanent sound installation in a newly constructed building on the Microsoft Campus in Redmond, WA. The resulting installation musically activates the interior space of the lobby by utilizing the weather conditions directly outside.
To achieve this effect, a weather station, mounted onto the roof of the building, continuously captures changes in the weather. The resulting data stream, containing wind speed, temperature, precipitation, and sunlight, is parsed by a Node.JS server we wrote and output as OSC to a PureData patch, which subsequently triggers musical sounds that playback through around one hundred speakers mounted into the lobby's ceiling.
In this way, the continually shifting nature of weather at the site is represented in real-time by a constantly changing musical composition.
Client: MICROSOFT | BOORA ARCHITECTS
Date Created: Spring, 2015
LIGHT WASH was an immersive, interactive, site-specific audio-visual installation at Composition Gallery.
5 channels of generative, evolving sound and 6 channels of highly saturated colored light filled the gallery creating a space for reflection, reaction and restoration. 9 color temperatures slowly followed 9 vowels through minimal and endless combinations.
On closing night of the installation, 6 sound artists including Mejía presented short audio-visual performances utilizing the installation as their instrument.
Each artist was given the same limited toolset and will develop work and perform by communicating with the installation over WiFi using OSC (Open Sound Control).
Jesse Mejía in collaboration with Lucy Yim
This is a video document of a collaboration with Jennifer West.
Commissioned by PICA TBA Fest 2014, curated by Kristan Kennedy for visual arts exhibition, "As round as an apple, as deep as a cup" Performed live for two nights in September inside Jennifer West's "Flashlight Filmstrip Projections" installation.
Video shot and edited by Peter West
Serpentine Dance: Connie D. Moore
Flashlight Performers: Leif J. Lee, Julie Perini, Micah Schmelzer, Jwest
Synthesizer: Jesse Mejía
Theremin: Mark Keppinger
Choreography and Serpentine Costume: Maranee Sanders
Serpentine Dance Research Consultant: Anita Pace
Original Score Composed by: Sue Harshe (2005)
Score Re-interpreted by: Jesse Mejía and Mark Keppinger, 2014
Courtesy MARC FOXX, Los Angeles and VILMA GOLD, London
COPYRIGHT JENNIFER WEST 2014
CHOIR is an ongoing community singing group focused on learning and performing choral music by composers such as Arvo Pårt and Ola Gjeilo. Led by Jesse Mejia and accompanied by pianist Mary Sutton, we hold rehearsals on Sunday afternoons, working through difficult but rewarding compositions to build an adventurous repertoire. CHOIR provides sheet music, space and a focused learning environment for singers of all skill levels. We also seek out opportunities to perform in unusual contexts such as art installations or multimedia performance pieces. CHOIR is an experiment in musical pedagogy, a DIY community group and a contemporary music performance ensemble. CHOIR is supported in part by RACC in 2017.
Improvisations made using custom self-built analog synthesizers and control systems.
Float is a video made in collaboration with video artist Seth Nehil and dance artist Taka Yamamoto. I created the sound.
We were commissioned in June 2013 to create this dance video in response to experiencing a series of 3-hour floats in sensory isolation tanks.
A dance collaboration with bobbevy
My part of this collaboration was live music performance from custom synthesizers and sequencers built for the project in Pure Data.
July 2012 at Danceworks Performance Company in Milwaukie, WS September 2012
NW New Works Festival at On the Boards June 14th-16th 2013
A physical object facilitates audience interaction and in turn generate sound/music for a dancer (Suniti Dervnosek).
This is a diy clone of the classic tr-808 kickdrum.
Composition and sound design pieces for Mercy Corps.
Functional music for professional relaxation parties.
Other related work is here: soundcloud
And here: Acid Farm