We heard about it first here in CDM’s comments (after I made a joking comment about music via ping-pong), but Music Thing gets the scoop on it in action: students in the New Interfaces for Musical Expression course at NYU have in fact rigged up a ping-pong sample playback controller. (Photos & descriptions at MT) Sad but true: my comic imagination can’t dream up anything odder than what you folks have actually built.

Any NYU ITP people with newsworthy contraptions at the ITP spring show, please contact me: I’ll be dropping by at 5p tomorrow (Tuesday) if you want a quick interview or photos.

PS, why I’m behind on this story and wasn’t at this performance: I’m busy getting ready for a dance performance choreographed by Christopher Williams at P.S. 122, doing electronic sound and stuff with instruments. (Anonymous 4 singers Susan Hellauer and Jacqueline Horner with viola and viola da gamba, no less — definitely non-21st Century! More on my site, for those interested.)

UPDATED: Regine at we make money not art points out the minds at MIT came up with a wilder Ultra-Interactive Multimedia Ping-Pong back in 1998. Check out the specs of PingPongPlus:

  • Object tracking for the ball

  • Reactive table leaves shadows, ripples as the ball hits it

  • Interactive visuals and sound respond to your playing in rhythm

  • That ups the ante.