The Man-Robot with an iMac Head, and Handmade Music Amsterdam

The Body, The Circuit, The Computer and The Voice: robot cowboy from STEIM Amsterdam on Vimeo. If you want to look for some of the roots of live electronic musical performance, STEIM is one place to start. Founded in 1969 by a group of Dutch composers (Misha Mengelberg, Louis Andriessen, Peter Schat, Dick Raaymakers, Jan van Vlijmen, Reinbert de Leeuw, and Konrad Boehmer), and led by the late “founding father” Michel Waisvisz, it has remained an important hub for inventing music technologies. It was one of the first places that gave an indication that these kind of experiments could extend …

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The Wearable Screen: A Dress Made from LEDs, by CuteCircuit

Ah, clothes. You’re so warm, so good at preventing us from being naked and sunburnt. But you know what the passionate visualist really wants from clothes: we want a display. The GalaxyDress is the latest creation of the fashionista-scientists of CuteCircuit, the smart-wearable design collective founded by Ivrea-trained designers Francesca Rosella and Ryan Genz. The design breakthrough, naturally, comes from the LEDs, which are tiny, thin, and most important for applying them to fashion, flat. The dress has also found its way into one of my all-time favorite museums. The Galaxy Dress is the center piece of the "Fast Forward: …

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The Sonic Manipulator: Bizarre Wearable Musical Inventions, Stolen from Space Aliens?

It may be 2009, but you can still play electronic music as though you’re an invading alien visitor from the future. Just ask The Sonic Manipulator, an electronic musical performer and inventor, alias Claude Woodward. His musical creations range from warped radios to instruments derived from turntable scratches and Theremins. And then there are some instruments that seem to be sonic weapons. (Apologies to recent protesters in Pittsburgh.) CDM reader Andrew Cordani caught Claude at the UK’s British Invention Show. Claude is apparently a Perth, Australia transplant, by way of Cambridge, though Andrew writes that he “has been known to …

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Handmade Music: NYC Thursday – Wearable Sound, DIY Dance Music + MP3s

From Sarah and Lara Grant, we have a dress that makes music, with tube-like apparatus made of felt for connecting sound, modular fashion. From the raucous duo Great Tiger, we get a homebrewed arcade controller Ableton Live that mashes loops into dance music with a quick button push. Yep, it’s Handmade Music time again in New York tomorrow Thursday. If you’re anywhere in the area, come on down – and feel free to bring your own projects and/or expect some surprise technological appearances. If not, we’ve still got some MP3s, visuals, and how-to information to share. If you do make …

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This Week in Awesome Videos

It’s Friday, folks. You don’t want to think. You want to give your eyeballs a nice dip in cool, refreshing retinal stimulation. Grab a fistful of eye candy and relax on the couch. Here are just a few to get you started; feel free to add more fodder for weekend watching on comments. CDMusic was host this week to some quite inspiring music videos, stimulating our musical and motional taste buds at once. Final Fantasy’s “Horsetail Feathers,” from earlier this year, perfectly evokes the dreamworlds of the artist. Retro cinematography may be all the rage, but here it blends into …

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Maker-Faire Music: VAMP and Glove-Controlled Vocals

Elly Jessop and VAMP at the Maker Faire from The Amazing Rolo on Vimeo. Yann Seznec aka The Amazing Rolo brings CDM his coverage of music tech at the Maker Faire in three episodes today. Continuing the tradition of computer-augmented vocal performance and interactive gloves, Elena “Elly” Jessop shows off her VAMP system at Maker Faire. Elly is a Masters student at the MIT Media Lab’s Opera of the Future research group, headed by Todd Machover. Interestingly, Elly’s background is in conventional theater, including stage and costume design and choreography. http://web.media.mit.edu/~ejessop/ VAMP stands for “Vocal Augmentation and Manipulation Prosthesis.” What’s …

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Like a DIY NAMM: Handmade Music Preview, with Gestural Gadgets, Mannequin Parts, More

The GCE-2 by Mouse & the Billionaire is just one creation at this month’s Handmade Music, many from createdigitalmusic.com readers. What’s new in the world of music technological creations? It’s stunning how much people are creating in their private workshops and bedrooms. I’m pleased to have the chance to share it virtually here, and Thursday night in person in New York City. We’re proud that Handmade Music returns to Brooklyn’s 3rd Ward this Thursday, presented by createdigitalmusic.com with XLR8R.com, Make, and Etsy.com and sponsored by Pabst Blue Ribbon. (Free beer.) It’s a party, a science fair of music tech and …

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Alternative Theremin: On Your Wrist, in a Mug of Tea

Neither of these items is “news,” but since I missed them, you may have, too — and because they’re so absurd and wonderful, I can’t let that happen. Some things are timeless. Via Chris Cheung’s Hong Kong’s-based Special Interest Group comes the Theremin Watch, “Modified (circuit bend) from 大人之科學 kit set.” I love the idea of a wrist-mounted Theremin. On one hand (ahem), it does mean that you can calibrate relative to your body, because it’s always strapped to your wrist. On the other, I expect that’s still something of a challenge. But it’s not so often you get wearable …

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Eboman SenSorSuit Strikes Again: Live Sampling + Audience Participation

Looking for ways to liven up your festival appearances, fellow visualists? A little audience participation sure doesn’t hurt. Then again, maybe it’s just that those Dutch festival goers are cooler. (Hug a nurse!) Team Eboman writes us: At the last Lowlands festival in the Netherlands Eboman made a new composition in collaboration with the audience. With a team he collected videosamples with the audience and impressions of the festival which resulted in the following collaborative video composition of the festival. The tracks were also performed during the festival by Eboman in his SenSorSuit. dSenSorSuit = played by Eboman Camera = …

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Sexy Computer Nerd: Rucyl Mills’ Wearable, Over-the-Shoulder MIDI Controller

It’s not animal-friendly, constructed of black leather and snakeskin, but it is fashion-forward. It’s Rucyl Mills’ over-the-shoulder, wearable MIDI controller, complete with pads, knobs and faders (looking mysteriously like they were liberated from an M-Audio Trigger Finger). Rucyl describes her creation: I built the elektro-07 so I could control the sonic and visual parameters of my live performances without having to look deep into the eye of my laptop, hunched over in computer music stance. I’m still learning how to play it.. Software wise, it runs a maxMSP/Jitter patch smoothly, connected to my laptop by a long usb cable. Major …

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