eShofar1: An electronically expanded ram's horn, amplified and played
with a sensor glove and digital interface (2001 - 2005)

2005 Bob Gluck

The shofar is held in one hand upon which an I-Cube glove is worn.

The glove tracks degree of finger tip and palm pressure exerted upon a surface, in this case, the shofar.

The performer plays long tones, breath sounds, or rapid repeated note figures, of which six second clips are recorded in one of two sound banks, in real time.

Each recording is immediately looped and continuously replayed. Each sound bank can be refreshed at will by re-recording new material on the fly.

The recorded sounds are sent to a series of digital signal processors, parameters of which are controlled by the degree of pressure tapped by a particular finger on the instrument's body.

A multi-channel MIDI fader allows the addition or subtraction of one to twelve discrete channels of sound, each corresponding to the audio output from one of the digital processors, unprocessed recorded shofar or other pre-recorded material. As the performance unfolds, an evolving multi-level sound collage is thus created.

Screenshot of the main Max/MSP eShofar I patch:

channel levels

digital processing subpatchers:
hi-pass, lo-pass and comb filters, granulation & harmonizer.

names of current pre-recorded cantorial soundfiles

[a four-channel chorus triggered by playing a rapid musical figure of repeated notes]

In addition, the real-time shofar sounds are analyzed (using Miller Puckette's fiddle~ object), detecting the frequencies of first six harmonics, which are mapped to a series of sine waves, creating a phantom cluster of synthesized sounds.
Sound clips:
'sound example
'Shshofar 2'

Video clips:
at the Spanish Synagogue in Prague, November 21, 2005

clip 1
clip 2
clip 3

Video animation backdrops
by Cynthia Beth Rubin