A.R.T. Confidential, an inside look at a hidden world: LASSY in the morning
We love to tell you about the artists but this time I am going to give you a glimpse of a breakthrough we created that very few in the world know about.
It is the A.R.T. L.A.S.S.Y.: Light actuated synthesizer.
Seeing the amazing creative power the head-mounted laser brought the artist’s paintings, I asked, for those lacking the articulate use of their hands could the headmounted laser work for the creation of music?
Mulling and musing, plotting and planning, the idea firmed up I reached out for and found a most talented young engineer/ fabricator willing to build the prototype. Chris Wheeler.
The LASSY is a four foot ring of metal sporting eighty eight light sensitive diodes. The diodes wired to a switch box in turned wired to an audio speaker.
When the artist, the musicians strikes a diode with the laser it sounds the note of one of the keys of a full sized piano or any other of dozens of synthetic musical instruments.
Not only did the LASSY function perfectly but the sound was very high quality. Not only did the LASSY prototype work as good or better than I had hoped but Chris had created a work of art. A large Mandala featuring all these smaller lenses of glass, the diodes. It was tech but so handsome and evocative.
The prototype standing on its legs against a wall of my office, so pleased with it, eager to see how it would work for the artists, night, into bed I eased.
In the early morning, more asleep than awake I thought I was dreaming, a restful new age harmonic in my sleepy ears. A bit eerie, waited for it to pass. Not only did it not pass but morphed into a new tonality. And it was to continue to very gently, slowly alter its restful dreamy tones.
You guessed it. It was the LASSY, played as a harp by the movement of the rising sun coming through my office window..