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Sometimes You Just Have To (inter) Face The Music

Topics: Music, Technology | 2 CommentsBy admin | November 1, 2008

Two Tune Tables and No Microphone

Years ago I had a dream in which I was playing an amazing instrument that responded to my hand gestures and thoughts, creating sublime, transcendent music that moved the soul. Then I woke up. The best that I had at my disposal at the time was still my electric guitar, because a velocity sensitive keyboard, although it’s pretty cool, had been around for awhile. The evolution of the musical instrument interface has amazing possibilities these days, as evident in the reactable project created by students at Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. As is so often the case though, the same technology seems to be more immediately applicable to practical needs, like selling cocktails. The clip at left is the brick, a “Tangible & Multi Touch Sonification Instrument”. Which is one of the more creative and purposeful interfaces I’ve seen. Many of these concepts are clever, but end up being rather non-musical or like the reacTogon, just a a clever redesign of existing ideas. Coming at things from the other direction, Japanese artist Daito Manabe lets the music play him (YouTube clip). If you watch that video, you’ll get a feel for what it means to “surrender to your art”. That can’t feel good. Daito Manabe’s YouTube page is here; he also seems to do interesting public performance art projects like whitebase + Daito Manabe and disturbing video experiments like Milk. Yucky.

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  1. Posted by » The Future Of Musical Instruments? - Dissociated Press on 05.29.10 12:57 am

    [...] controlling digital devices. And as fascinating as I find the devices we previously rounded up in this piece, none of them really seem like “instruments”. Which is why I’m a little intrigued [...]

  2. Posted by The iPad As A Musical Instrument? at dissociatedpress.com on 09.07.10 10:52 pm

    [...] back in November of 2008, we took a look at the state of innovative tactile controllers for music. At the time, the coolest cutting edge tools were mostly research projects, certainly not something [...]