invisiball_ball_pos_2

InvisiBall: Play Tennis with Sound, Blindfolded – or Blind

Trust your ears. It seems a simple instruction, in the teaser video for this project by Stockholm-based producer/composer Håkan Libdo. But for those of us used to having vision, focusing in on one sense – even the sense on which we rely for music and sound – can be an extraordinary experience. If digital interface design has done anything, it has forced new ways of looking at design across senses, and not just in a weary repetition of “we always do it this way.” Playing tennis in InvisiBall becomes a new experience. Sonic cues along direct the ball from side …

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Beatboxing, Crowd-funded Wearable Open Source Beatjazz: Onyx’s Transformation Continues

When we last saw Onyx Ashanti, he was speaking of a grand vision to remake himself into a music-performing Tron. Now, the elements of that vision are coming together, with a crowd-sourced funding campaign that ends today, Friday. Update: Apparently after seeing this story, IndieGogo extended the funding deadline for five days, with the new deadline Thursday, December 1. I knew Onyx back when he was playing more conventional wind controllers. Now, that fingering arrangement is freed from the virtual wind instrument, handheld and movable through space. Because of the plans to open source everything he’s making, you might yourself …

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evolutiondancemusic

Across Time and Space, Tracing the Evolution of Western Dance Music: Data Visualization

Even from the birds-eye view of larger genres, the interrelations and ongoing transformation of music is dynamic, complex, and inter-connected. That’s the view in The Evolution of Western Dance Music, a map of musical styles in five-year chunks across the 19th and 20th Centuries, through Africa, Europe, the Americas, and Asia. The project is the work of London/Seattle/New York Web agency Distilled, pulling genre births from Bass Culture, Last Night A DJ Saved My Life,The All Music Guide to Electronica, and Wikipedia. Having just edited a book entitled The Evolution of Electronic Dance Music, I find it extremely interesting to …

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bachdrawing

Bach Cello Suite No. 1, Visualized in Sweeping Arcs, and the Math Beneath

Alexander Chen, he of Kinect hacks and subways turned to strings, is back with another string visualization. Built in the browser (an interactive version is available), this work makes a visual accompaniment to Bach’s First Prelude from the Cello Suites. If you read music notation fluently, you may find the score itself suffices, but even so, the math to make this work – and the dance of circles across strings – is compelling. Alex, whose day job is with Google’s Creative Lab, talks to us a bit about the mathematics and process. First, his description: baroque.me visualizes the first Prelude …

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Grabbing Invisible Sounds with Magical Gloves: Open Gestures, But with Sound and Feel Feedback

You might imagine sound in space, or dream up gestures that traverse unexplored sonic territory. But actually building it is another matter. Kinect – following a long line of computer vision applications and spatial sensors – lets movement and gestures produce sound. The challenge of such instruments has long been that learning to play them is tough without tactile feedback. Thereminists learn their instrument through a the extremely-precise sensing of their instrument and sonic feedback. In AHNE (Audio-Haptic Navigation Environment), sonic feedback is essential, but so, too, is feel. Haptic vibration lets you know as you approach sounds — essential, …

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drasko_install

Jamming Live in 3D, a TEDx Toronto Installation, and Call for Your Work

Something crazy going on here. Install image from Drasko V. Drasko Vucevic, Toronto- and Santa Monica (California)-based sound designer and artist/composer, is apparently not only interested in playing alone. His upcoming interactive installation at Toronto’s Royal Music Conservatory will have an audience jamming along live via Twitter. And the artistry is crowd-sourced, too – with a range of artists already onboard, Drasko is calling on musical and visual artists (read: you) to be involved with sounds and visuals. Drasko has sent along extensive notes, so I’m going to let him speak for himself:

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Loops as Sketches of Guitar Pedals, in Multitouch Table Music Design

Working in open source code for any platform, Brazilian artist and developer Jeraman has produced a charming project that imagines musical interfaces in dynamic, whimsically-simple sketches. Like doodled knobs, cartoons of guitar pedals, interactive devices on the touchscreen control musical activity. And because it’s open, cross-platform code, everything from a computer-powered multitouch table to an Android tablet could get in on the fun. Jeraman explains:

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An Album That Can Be Heard Only in One Location, in Interactive Ode to Washington, D.C.

“You had to be there.” Live performance has always been dictated by being present in a particular place, at a particular time. Now, the same is true of an interactive album produced by brothers Hays and Ryan Holladay, aka Bluebrain. Both a two-man band and a two-man development team, there’s no clear dividing line between “coder” and “musician” for the artists on this project. But the only way to hear the work is to physically go to Washington, D.C.’s National Mall, and begin walking around. The satellites that populate the GPS received in your smartphone, currently on iOS but with …

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1024architecture

With Neon Guitars and Immersive Projection, 1024 Architecture Become Audiovisual Rock Band

Euphorie live at the Elektra Festival. Photo courtesy Elektra. When a brainy, abstract audiovisual act can elicit some laughs and cheers, you know something is going right. Euphorie, the live music and projection act by François Wunschel, Fernando Favier, and stage designer Pier Schneider of the collectives 1024 Architecture and EXYZT, isn’t brand new. But in the cavernous, packed Usine C at Montreal’s Elektra Festival earlier this month, it surely shone. Inside that booming rehabilitated factory, sound and video elements seemed to just click, the happy result of months of development, practice, and iteration meeting a highly appreciative crowd. Projectors …

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peopleonsynplode

Bugs on the Game Grid: Synplode Makes Step Sequencing Tangible for an Interactive Dance Floor

Digital musician and artist Josh Silverman began the Synplode process with something familiar – a checkerboard. Play a game of checkers on its computer vision-equipped playing field and beats and loops triggered in Ableton Live generated a responsive soundtrack for the game. But as it’s evolved, Synplode has become a general-purpose musical grid. Whether with little robotic insects (the Hexbugs here) or full-sized human persons, the grid can turn any space into a dynamic, interactive dance floor. (I think I may actually prefer those cute little bugs to the people and dancers and whatnot. Robot rave, anyone?) I prodded Josh …

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