SUFI PLUG INS
SUFI PLUG INS is an interdisciplinary project dedicated to exploring non-western & poetic notions of sound in interaction with alternative interfaces. SUFI PLUG INS create a space where software design, music tools, encoded spirituality, digital art, and indigenous ontologies overlap. Jace Clayton initiated the project in 2010, and used his time in Morocco with Beyond Digital to research. Special thanks goes to Meryam Demnati of the Royal Institute for Amazigh Culture (IRCAM), who helped with the translations.
The first SUFI PLUG INS were released on May 14, 2012. SUFI PLUG INS v.1 are a free suite of seven audio software tools for Ableton Live (Max4Live). They include four software synthesizers hardwired to North African maqam scales with quartertone tuning built-in, a device called DEVOTION which lowers your computer’s volume 5 times a day during call to prayer (presets include Agnostic, Fervent, Devout), and a drone machine.
SUFI PLUG INS are clearly labeled in the Berber script of neo-Tifinaght – ⵙⴾⵔⵓ ⵜⴰⵎⵉⵎⵔⴰⵜ. Their mysterious (to non-Amazigh users) yet intuitive layout encourages and rewards experimentation. ‘Roll-over’ infotexts contain fragments of Sufi verse. A series of SPI Instructional Videos filmed on location in Morocco function as stand-alone art pieces or instances of ‘teaching by example.’
Led by Jace Clayton (DJ Rupture), the SUFI PLUG INS development team includes programmer Bill Bowen, designer Rosten Woo, Amazigh musician Hassan Wargui , and videographers Maggie Schmitt and Juan Alcón Durán. While the 1st release is for Ableton Live users, we are working on making SUFI PLUG INS available as VSTs to ensure compatibility with Cubase, FruityLoops, and other music software widely used in Africa and the Middle East.
A physical Sufi Plug Ins Forever Box is expected for late 2012, and Clayton is currently preparing an installation version of the Sufi Plug Ins.
DEVOTION: Instructional Video
DRONE: Instructional Video
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