We were asked by our friends at Initials to help launch the new Fiat 500 model. “Can we make the car control the music?” was how the conversation started.
We created a 15m diameter vinyl record strong enough for the car to drive around activating the music whilst Ella Eyre performed in the centre.
Record after it's grooves had been routed in
The painting of the record
Fiat 500 ready to go
Our interesting solution was to use the technology employed in marathon running. Chips attached to runners’ shoes tag their start and finish times as they cross sensors on the road.
We dismantled, adapted, and reversed this technology so that the car, driving over sensors in the record, triggered beats, basslines, and audio samples. The entire computer-based audio system was then installed into the boot of the car, allowing the sensors to be moved around and placed anywhere on the record. This was transmitted to the event sound system using radio signals.
The result was an event on the south bank of the Thames with 200 celebrities and invited guests watching Ella Eyre perform to music created entirely by a moving car.
One of the main challenges for this job was a way to cut out a perfect circle and add the grooves in order to mimic a record. Thankfully our forward-thinking team came up with custom-built technology to make this all possible. A router would be attached to an adjustable arm, which would pivot from the centre of the record in order to cut out the record itself and then once adjusted then add those all-important grooves.