How Gloves and Wearable Tech Could Change Music Performance: In Depth with Imogen Heap and Team

In fits and starts, musical interface inventors have tried for decades to make manipulating digital music more expressive. But that persistence comes out of a clear goal post. They want the machine’s seemingly-endlessly possibilities to fit the human like a glove. Imogen Heap is no stranger to pushing the boundaries of electronic musical performance, always making it seem as effortless as her songwriting and stage presence. For the Gloves Project, she assembled a super-team of wearable experts, interaction designers, and music researchers, several doctorates between them. This who’s-who have finally unveiled a project they’re ready to make public, and the …


Hope: In Piano Gestures and Glitches, a Gorgeous Free Compilation from Japan

kaiwa; from mitsuru shimizu on Vimeo. Quietly melancholic piano gestures and reversed piano hammer strokes collide like waves against glitch-infused rhythms in hope3.0, the output of elementperspective. The “sound & design label” from Osaka weaves together a diverse group of promising Japanese artists, showing in many cases sonic maturity that belies their young average age. The balance between minimal, glittering piano prettiness and raw, digital rhythms is perfectly on evidence in the music video at top, for Mitsuru Shimizu’s triumphant “kaiwa;” – a real highlight of the set. The photographer and self-described “sound proposer” produces visuals and sounds alike here. …


Chronome: A monome-inspired Grid, with Color and Pressure Senstivity

Chronome Prototype from FlipMu on Vimeo. The monome is defined as much by what it isn’t as what it is: it’s monochromatic, it uses only on/off binary buttons, and that’s part of its beauty. But what if it weren’t that? What if a monome could do color, and velocity sensitivity? As both engineering problem and design inquiry, that question holds some intrigue. Owen Vallis, who with Jordan Hochenbaum makes up the digital duo FlipMu, shares the Chronome prototype. Like the Arduinome before it, it re-conceives the monome’s brain around the open-source Arduino microcontroller platform – now in the form of …


Musical Sewing Machines, Electronic Honky-Tonk, and Handmade Music NYC Monday

Sewing together music: designer and techno-textile artist Lara Grant constructs music with a modded sewing machine and Max. Lara is one of the artists playing Handmade Music in New York next week; stay tuned here for more behind the scenes of what those folks are doing. Photo (CC-BY-SA) See-ming Lee. Before evolutionary adaptation comes mutation. Some of the weirdest stuff, in other words, could be the future – just ask biology. That was the conversation I had with folks like artist Rosa Menkman in Old Amsterdam (the one in Holland). So, as we gather back in New Amsterdam (NYC), we …