Anthesizer I

Sound Installation
Byungkyu Lee (Sound Design, Building Circuits)
Piezo, LM386, THA Mini Hearth
Ant Sp.
Pogonomyrmex rugosus

Ant + Synthesizer

Soundsacape of an ant colony in real time, the first attempt.

This series features harvester ants, Pogonomyrmex rugosus. It focuses on interesting aspect of their acoustic communication method- stridulation.

Some species of ants produce stridulatory sounds by rubbing specialized body parts against each other.

The rubbing or scraping of these body parts generates vibrations, which produce audible sounds. The sounds can serve as a means of communication between ants, conveying various messages such as alarm, aggression, or mate attraction.

Exhibited at CalArts Expo 2022

The Ants

Pogonomyrmex rugosus

or in short, roogs

P. rugosus are desert harvester ants from Sonoran Desert, primarily rely on seeds.

Ants are known to communicate with chemical elements called pheromone. However, there are some ant species that also communicate with sounds. They do this by stridulation, rubbing their body parts against one another.

Anthesizer I focuses on their stridulatory communication, especially the sound itself, and turns it into a deep cave-like ambience using real-time synthesis software, MaxMSP.

The Structure

Anthesizer I is featuring THA Mini Hearth Type III

There are three contact mics placed inside the Nest area and the Outworld area each.

Each mics are connected to amp circuits, sending the audio signals to MaxMSP.

The circuit

Ants’ communication is picked up by contact mics and go to amplifier circuits.

Circuit Schematic is from HERE

The Patch

This is where the magic happens. Turning stridulation into a beautiful soundscape.

Anthesizer I Input Section

Anthesizer I Processing Section


Thanks to:

Sam Wells, Ben RitcherKuai Shen, Marcel Riccelli, Trevor Desai, Joy Lee, all the members of Ants & Ant Keeping Discord server, and my parents whom I love the most.

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