Jonathan Sparks


Nomis is a musical instrument created with the aim of making loop based music more expressive and transparent through gesture and light.

Midi sounds are selected, played, and looped, being passed across the instrument as a way of illustrating how melodies are created and how they fit into a larger composition. Midi sounds are selected and displayed through the first light tower, each being represented by a different color. Those sounds are then available to be performed and displayed with the polyphonic octagonal interface in the middle. These performances are stored and looped by spinning the whole octagonal interface. The loops are then displayed through the last tower where they each can individually be turned off and on again to create a dynamic composition from the loops created live.

Loop based music is a powerful way for an individual musician to create a complex, multi-voiced composition by looping and layering melodies in real time. The devices that make it possible to achieve this are powerful, but often lack the expressiveness and clarity that make for compelling live performances. Nomis is an attempt to get that looping capability up off of the floor, out from behind the laptop, and feature it in an instructive and stimulating way.

Nomis has been featured on The Creators Project, won People's Choice at the Margaret Guthman Musical Instrument Competition, was performed at the Paseo Art Festival, and was featured on the The TODAY Show


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