The Interphase octagon showing a test pattern and backlight for the first time.

Courtesy Audiopixel

Justin Gitlin is designing the musical framework for a new art installation, but the score for this artwork will ultimately be influenced by those who interact with it.  

When people touch the eight-foot-tall, octagonal sculpture, “that will change how the music is composed,” the Denver-based artist and coder says.

Gitlin, who goes by the moniker Cacheflowe — a “nerdy-computer play on words” — has been building software for an interactive work called “Interphase.” He collaborated with Boulder-based AudioPixel, which specializes in building large-scale LED and sound-reactive projects. The company has designed installations for the Denver Botanic Gardens, touring musicians, nightclubs and Burning Man, a temporary city erected in the Black Rock Desert annually.

“Interphase” was created for the third annual WAVE, an art festival that runs Thursday through Sunday in downtown Breckenridge. The four-day 2018 event showcases seven gigantic art installations focused on the themes of light, sound and water.

Breckenridge Creative Arts invited artists from around the world, including the U.S., Canada, Europe and Israel, to contribute contemporary public art pieces for WAVE.

BreckCreate president and CEO Robb Woulfe says they took inspiration from Scottsdale, Arizona’s waterfront Canal Convergence art experience to develop WAVE. It’s an opportunity for artists who often “showcase their works in more urban environments to bring the artwork up to a mountain community,” he says.

A sample of one of the many light patterns that will wrap around "Interphase," an interactive artwork created by Justin Gitlin.
Courtesy of Justin Gitlin and Audiopixel

To concoct the musical aspect of “Interphase,” Gitlin took “cues from my history of writing my own music,” and created a collection of categorized sounds to develop software known as a step sequencer — basically a program that breaks the music up into specific beats, or steps that you can turn on and off.  

“The challenge is to create patterns inside of those steps that sound like music would,” Gitlin says. “If it’s too random, then it will just sound like a mess. And if it’s too prescribed, it might sound too mechanical.”

Artist, musician and coder Justin Gitlin, also known as Cacheflowe, outside his Denver workspace, May 23, 2018.

Stephanie Wolf/CPR News

Gitlin wants the musical piece of “Interphase” to “slowly morph and change” over the four-day festival, “so you never really hear the same thing twice.”

And, as more people interact with the installation, “it will speed up in tempo,” Gitlin adds. His aspirations for “Interphase” are pretty simple.

“We want people to laugh, be inquisitive, explore and just have fun,” he says.

You can see “Interphase” at WAVE in downtown Breckenridge starting May 31, 2018. The free outdoor festival features installations from artists around the world: including the U.S., Canada, Europe and Israel. It runs through June 3, 2018.