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Restart Radio: Opto Noise, making music with lasers and e-waste

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Restart podcastWe had the pleasure of interviewing Faraz Sayed, long time Restarter, maker and now music maker with a group called Opto Noise. Through the London Hackspace Sonic Hackers, Faraz connected with Stan Lewry and a handful of people who wanted to make music with lasers, spinning discs and photovoltaic cells.

Spurred on by an invite to perform at Music Tech Fest in Sweden, they built a working instrument in late 2014, and have performed at Tate Modern and Café Oto since.

The project uses power supplies scavenged from long-dead PC towers, and new brushless motors like those used in quadcopters. To perform, musicians shine laser pointers through the spinning discs, and the light hits the PV cells and is then translated into sound.

We talked about play, creativity and where (re)making meets music.

To close out the episode we talked about the much-heralded end of “Moore’s Law”, which predicted that processor performance in computers would improve at a fast rate. We discussed the implications of a plateauing of performance in computers and gadgets.

Links we mentioned

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