As My Guitar Gently Weeps with a Japanese Politician

While my elected representative gently weeps? Yes, don’t miss this video, going social today, from Japan, in which a guitarist perfectly times playing to a politician’s sob story. You might assume this isn’t relevant to CDM. But let’s say it hits the whammy bar — on your MIND. Earlier this month, I attended the NIME2014 conference – New Interfaces for Musical Expression. Year after year, groups like these discuss the merits of instrumental interfaces for expression. Generally, instruments like the guitar – good. Instruments like the piano – bad. No ability to add nuance after you hit a note, no …

READ MORE →

A New Lab Opens Music Making to People with Learning Disabilities

Let’s face it: the initial audience for the first version of music tech is often the developers. That impulse to build something for yourself is a perfectly reasonable one. But music technology is constantly producing new ways of creating music, and that means it has to learn quickly. Unlike, say, a guitar, it can’t build on centuries of experience. And if the industry and music technology community are to consider how to reach more people, why not go beyond just average markets? Why not open up music making to people who have been left out? If music making is an …

READ MORE →

Plaid’s Tether is an Interactive Web Song You Can Remix – Music, or Code

Now that your Web browser can do what music creation software can do, presenting a song can be more than just giving people a play button. And allowing people to “remix” your music might mean sounds and software alike. First, there was Jono Brandel’s terrific Patatap with Lullatone. Press keys on your keyboard, and a warm, Lullatone-inspired sample machine delights with brightly-colored abstract objects and sounds, a sort of custom browser beat box. Patatap went viral, perhaps because it brought musical wonder to the carousel of distracting tabs on the Web. Now, Jono Brandel (of the Google Creative Lab, with …

READ MORE →

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 …

READ MORE →

“Ghost Box”: Imagine Anything, Realized with 3D Printing, Projection, Interaction, Illusion [Interview]

It looks like an arcade cabinet. But inside, 16th-century illusion meets 21st-century projection and fabrication techniques to produce a booth that can let users imagine new products. It’s the power to transform special effect into real creation. Chicago-based creative studio Leviathan, teaming up with music foundry Waveplant, produced the project. Moving from an early art experiment to a commercial application, they combined a number of ingredients into a box for dreaming up custom designs. The elements: Projection mapping with a moving object (a technique we’ve seen with growing frequency) The “Pepper’s Ghost” effect – sometimes dubbed a “hologram” by folks …

READ MORE →

"Ghost Box": Imagine Anything, Realized with 3D Printing, Projection, Interaction, Illusion [Interview]

It looks like an arcade cabinet. But inside, 16th-century illusion meets 21st-century projection and fabrication techniques to produce a booth that can let users imagine new products. It’s the power to transform special effect into real creation. Chicago-based creative studio Leviathan, teaming up with music foundry Waveplant, produced the project. Moving from an early art experiment to a commercial application, they combined a number of ingredients into a box for dreaming up custom designs. The elements: Projection mapping with a moving object (a technique we’ve seen with growing frequency) The “Pepper’s Ghost” effect – sometimes dubbed a “hologram” by folks …

READ MORE →

Bluetooth LE Will Make Minority Report a Creepy Reality, But Also Arduino Cooler

PSFK – Adaptive storefront prototype from + rehabstudio on Vimeo. After years of failing to demonstrate compelling applications, Bluetooth is back with a vengeance. If you haven’t yet used a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) device, it’s a completely different experience. Pairing and range and latency work better (the result of years of learning how to make these better). Battery drain is barely noticeable. You can expect BLE to power lots of clever new applications – and it’s nice to see it showing up on DIY electronics. Oh, yeah, and it can creep the hell out of you, privacy-wise, by making …

READ MORE →

Music and Performance, Made On The Spot: Hacklab, Open Call in Berlin

Inventing technological hacks in short time is one thing. At CTM Festival in Berlin, we want to push collaborative participants to go further. First, invent the technology for performance. Then, invent the performance – and be ready to perform publicly – and it do it all in just one week. It’s time again to join a MusicMakers Hacklab. Last year was the first week-long event hosted with CDM, and the first at CTM Festival. CTM makes a perfect venue, a brilliant and packed showcase for adventurous sound (and in parallel with another digital media fest, Transmediale, in the same city …

READ MORE →

Some Easy Ways to Get Kinect Controlling Music, Visuals on Mac and Windows

While we wait for Microsoft to send the new Kinect – yes, we’re on the list for one here at CDM HQ – there’s still plenty to be done with the current generation of Kinect. And it’s likely that you’ll find even more of these on the cheap when there’s new hardware out there. The problem is, apart from using Microsoft’s prescribed development tools on Windows, working with Kinect can be a bit tricky. What if you want to plug in a Kinect and play around quickly to try some possibilities? Or what if you want to work with collaborators …

READ MORE →

touch.gl Makes Finger-Painting Glitch Art; at Paris’ Pompidou [Android, Art]

Even Paris’ famed Centre Pompidou, it seems, has discovered apps. But you can bring some of that glitch art to your fingertips — for once, Android-only rather than exclusive to iOS. Hungarian-born, Berlin-based artist David Szauder (pixel noizz) has made a rather beautiful art app, extending glitch image modification to finger painting on the Android platform, via Processing for Android. It’s not the first app to reach into the world of glitch. But the deepest of these – the wonderful, pioneering Satromizer, by Ben Syverson with Chicago new media artist Jon Satrom – is so good at hacking into images, …

READ MORE →