A kid and parent playing with a Benjolin

At this exhibition, the future of music is weird

We have seen the future. And it’s strange – in a good way. Bizarre Sound Creatures was an exhibition late last month held in Eindhoven in the Netherlands, accompanied by workshops and performances. The theme wasn’t just new instrument design and music making, but imagining a future world with peculiar evolutionary twists. These are musical objects with odd appendages and surprising interfaces. Let’s take a look.

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Wave Your Hands or Draw to Make Sounds, with OWOW – Kickstarter Deadline Approaches

“Instead of going to music school, I studied design.” Wiggle, wob, drum, pads, and scan are new gestural instruments that seek to cut the distance between an idea, making a move with your body, and a sound. Think you could draw a doodle that expresses a sound? Wish you could just air-drum in that percussion line? Easier to wave your hand to describe a noise? These modular components let you do just that. OWOW, the startup behind it, is nearing a funding goal on Kickstarter – but it’s not quite there, five days until the deadline. So now is the …

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Inside the 18€ Lunchbox Synthesizer Kit with Unit Unlikely

[vimeo width=”640″ height=”360″]https://vimeo.com/120154304[/vimeo] 18€ buys you this lunchbox-style synthesizer kit – and it’s just the thing to put together on your lunch break. Unit Unlikely is a hardware startup working with simple parts to make accessible, fun instruments. And its founder joins our resident Dutch design expert to talk about what it’s like diving into the synth business for the first time – and where he might go. It all continues our series from Eindhoven, NL. From the edge of the Netherlands’ slick design scene, industrial designer and music technologist Arvid Jense joins CDM for a series of interviews with …

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Mold Sound with Tingle, a Music Controller That Looks Like Pin Art

[vimeo width=”640″ height=”360″]109389202[/vimeo] It looks like Pin Art or Pinscreens – those moldable frames full of pins popularized in the 80s. But the result is something that lets you dig your hands into sound and musical structures in new ways. It looks expressive and, let’s be honest, really fun. (For the research minded, there’s also a NIME report below.) From the edge of the Netherlands’ slick design scene, industrial designer and music technologist Arvid Jense joins CDM for a series of interviews with Eindhoven Music Startups. Here’s his encounter with Nupky. Eindhoven Music Startups: Nupky Rhys Duindam is a graduated …

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Identity, Body, Making: "Timeless" Short Meditates on Digital Being and Design

What does it mean to disconnect from time and space, from our bodies, when communicating and making? “Timeless” is a meditation on that question, refracted through the ideas of a number of thinkers from various backgrounds, and interspersed with a mysterious, glowing object in the form of a regular polyhedron. (This alien device seems to act as both mirror and unspeaking narrator.) The work of filmmaker Gabriel Shalom and designer Patrizia Kommerell, “Timeless” is an immersion into the contradictions of digital expression. With thinkers from cyberpunk futurist Bruce Sterling to game theorist Mary Flanagan, it holds a critical, visionary mirror …

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Identity, Body, Making: “Timeless” Short Meditates on Digital Being and Design

What does it mean to disconnect from time and space, from our bodies, when communicating and making? “Timeless” is a meditation on that question, refracted through the ideas of a number of thinkers from various backgrounds, and interspersed with a mysterious, glowing object in the form of a regular polyhedron. (This alien device seems to act as both mirror and unspeaking narrator.) The work of filmmaker Gabriel Shalom and designer Patrizia Kommerell, “Timeless” is an immersion into the contradictions of digital expression. With thinkers from cyberpunk futurist Bruce Sterling to game theorist Mary Flanagan, it holds a critical, visionary mirror …

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