Speaking Tree Tech Specs

At the Speaking Tree stations, you can interact with Professor Marvin Minsky whose book, The Society of Mind, inspired the Brain Opera. Marvin's questions elicit memories, stories, and ideas from you which we record for playback in the performance. When you answer one of a multitude of questions posed by Marvin Minsky, your words help create the Brain Opera libretto.

Our 12 Speaking Trees beckon you to contribute to our performance. A series of 5 interviews with Marvin generated many interesting questions about what music means to us personally, how we understand music, how music relates to memory...Audience thoughts form the first section of the performance, where they meet with internet reactions to the Brain Opera from all around the world.

[Speaking Trees]

An LCD screen displays a close video portrait of Marvin Minsky. Earth Technologies sponsored 15 replacement laptop screens which we are housing in our own sculptural rubber frames, and hanging vertically for a unique and beautiful video portrait.

A newly designed squeezable interface inspired by the digital baton lets the user input choices.

An Electro-Voice 257B cardioid microphone is used to record the spoken answers to Marvin's questions.

The microphone signal is sent to a microphone pre-amplifier which strengthens and compresses the signal.

The squeezable interface and pre-amp feed into an IBM PC running Microsoft's Windows NT.

The PC is equipped with a AWE 32 sound card donated by Creative Technology, Inc.

The signal from the sound card goes through an amplifier, and out to a speaker. Marvin Trees will speak in mono via K-RoK Studio Monitors by KRK.

Cables and connectors were donated by Belden Wire and Cable.

(image by Tanya Bezreh)