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.