There’s a mineral called pyrite with a interesting nickname, fool’s gold, because it has a superficial resemblance to gold and it’s by far the most frequently mineral mistaken for gold. Even if it’s pretty abundant, there’s a rare form of pyrite which is crystallised in radial shape (as unusual disc spherulites), taking the shape of a disc. The amazing fact is that the only deposit where pyrites of such morphology are found is in Illinois (USA) and the discs are dated around 300 million years ago!
Dmitry Morozov (aka ::vtol::), a media artist living in Moscow, had the chance to use a pyrite disc and created Ra, a sound object / synthesizer running on Arduino Nano. Ra uses laser for scanning the irregularities of the surface of the disc and further transforms this data to produce sound: (more…)