Electronic music was the theme last night. Tim Thompson, visiting from San Jose, demonstrated his Space Palette, a non-tactile musical instrument.
One plays the Space Palette by putting one’s hands through the cutouts in the oval; a Microsoft Kinect device detects the movement and Tim’s software converts the player’s gestures into musical sounds and abstract graphics.
Playing the instrument is very easy but remarkably engaging. Pretty much everyone gave it a shot. Tim then gave us a detailed talk on the innards of his creation.
Next, Rob Jellinghaus presented his Holofunk. He uses a Kinect, a Nintendo Wii remote, and a microphone to create multiple virtual sound loops.
He records sounds from his mouth, from melodies to beatboxing, then loops them with Holofunk. In this way, he can build up a musical piece layer by layer. The various loops are displayed on-screen so he can control them with the Wiimote.
Finally, Moldover (another out-of-towner, from SF) showed us his Light-Theremin, a light-sensitive tone generator built into a CD case (containing a CD of his original music). He then led a workshop for people who wanted to build a Light-Theremin of their own.
A very big thank-you to our presenters last night, and also to the JR members and new visitors who attended. The evening was an excellent blend of presentation, participation, and social interaction.