Piso Interativo is an interactive installation created by Batebit Artesania Digital in partnership with Designer Guilherme Luigi. It was set up in Porto Mídia building (Recife / PE) during the pre-carnival of 2015.
I conceived it with my partner Filipe Calegario, from Batebit Artesania Digital for it to be a giant musical instrument anyone could play, with a strong relationship with sound and movement, for people to engage with it both through dance and music. Our inspiration were the popular traditions from the state of Pernambuco, and the Brazilian Northeast, as the dance and music style of Forró, that holds many music genres such as the Baião.
Piso Interativo video:(Remember to turn the English subtitles ON, clicking under the youtube window in “the proprieties gear” > Subtitles/CC > English)
We wanted a displaced approach to the very playful foot pianos, seeking a deeper body engagement. Instead of piano notes, deep percussive sounds with rhythmic loops that stimulated dancing. Instead of keys, giant squares that resembled finger drumming pads. Instead of the neutral appearance of these instruments, an elegant disposal of Cobogó patterns, resembling the popular tiles with beautiful structured holes that were invented and widely used in our state. Instead of a clean one-to-one mapping, each foot stomp triggered also triggered the neighboring pads, depending on how strong it was hit. Light stomps only triggered one, as hard ones triggered many tiles around it.
The partnership with the Dingbat Cobogó project, that seeked to disseminate the graphical traditions of these tiles into the creative and authoral graphic designers. This clean and elegant approach to the rough and dirty tradition of these concrete structures were finely tuned with our essentialist approach around the grassroots traditions of forró, that usually are played and danced in small and crowded houses, with the dirt rising up and the sweat dropping down. We invited Helder Vasconcelos to design the loops and sample pack with electronic and percussive sounds that had some resemblance to the forró tradition. The first three first tiles toggled on and off the loops that were always on the beat, to guarantee a rhythmic interaction.
We organized many events on the “Piso Interativo”, with Helder performing on in and with a Jam Session of other instruments we had created together with traditional instruments.
Example of a Baião played in a Forró: