There's been an explosion of so-called "tangible interfaces"
for music: the basic scenario is, there's a table, possibly with
projections, and little blocks or objects or projected thingies you can
play around with and move to produce sound.
(Tangible = something physical you can move or touch, as opposed to an
interface that's intangible, like the filter routing in Apple Logic's Ultrabeat, which was designed by aliens who would rather use mental telepathy for control.)
Lately, there have been nearly weekly introductions of slight
variations on this theme, so many that if you've been reading
interactive tech blog near near future, you can't tell your audiopad from your reacTable from your audiocube from your audiocubes. (Yes, those last two are different.) Even Yamaha and Fisher-Price have gotten in on the action.
Martin Kaltenbrunner has heard your cries of anguish and created a huge list of tangible interfaces / music tables,
complete with links to creators, project sites, and publications.
(Don't tell your thesis advisor, interactive technology MFA candidates
– just say you did this research during hundreds of hours at the
library.) Some links are out of date, but it's still quite useful. (via networked_performance)
Oh yeah, make that tables and one sonic banana
– is Martin hedging his bets in case this ridiculous cube phase comes
to an end and people realize that what they really want to make music
is segments of rubber hose? (Me, I think musical stress balls are the real instrument of the future.)
Still not satisfied? Head to Vancouver for an international conference dedicated to new musical interfaces, take pictures, and let us know what you see!