If you want new ideas about design and interaction, ask a musician. Before the Wii remote, the iPhone, Microsoft’s Surface, and Minority Report, musicians were trying oddball ideas for music performance. That hasn’t slowed down, either, from the futuristic and space-y to down-and-dirty acoustic techniques. We’ve got quite a gamut coming up for our madcap, sound and noise-packed hour of competition happening this Saturday at NASA’s Ames Research center during Yuri’s Night, and we’d love to share them with everyone online.

For starters, here’s the rundown of the projects with links to project sites and artists, and all the judges:

Futuristic Music Design Challenge: Meet the Competitors, Judges

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The projects: the Bubblegum Sequencer (previously on CDM), The Box custom hardware with colored lights + Reaktor ensemble, the surface-temperature tangible interface table Weather Report (previously on CDM), the strange polygonal Kromatron wireless instrumental interface, the Thimbletron gloves-as-samplers with lab coated performers project (previously on CDM), the bicycle wheel and analog tape Looping Pedal (previously on CDM), the computer-powered musical saw WaveSaw, the 28-string just-intoned microtonal casmolyra, the turntablist custom software ammoBox and the GrooveStep DS pattern maker (previously on CDM).

I’m also pleased to announce…

The judges:

  • Roger Linn, father of the modern drum machine (in my opinion, anyway) and creator of the MPC60 for Akai, plus recent creations — and he plays the mandolin
  • Liz Enthusiasm, lead singer of Freezepop (check out their albums or just play a Harmonix game) and evidently an expert on Dr. Pepper
  • (Matt) Ganucheau, a mastermind of Yuri’s Night’s music and art, a composer and sound designer (and teacher of sound design for games), an electronic musician, and creator of the NSFW "foreplay robot" Moaning Lisa
  • … and yours truly as emcee

Speaking of Roger Linn, Tom at Music Thing just posted an auction on the pre-Akai prototype.

Hopefully we’ll get to do some quick interviews with the judges, as well, for Planet CDM. Stay tuned on