Last night, Rob Jellinghaus returned to Jigsaw with the latest iteration of Holofunk. Holofunk is a live looping system that lets the user (or users) create music by layering short repeating “loops” of sound recorded in real time. Unlike typical loopers, which are controlled by physical switches, Holofunk is gesture-controlled, with a Kinect detecting the position and shape of the users hands. For example, making a fist is the command to start recording sound; opening the hand stops the recording and starts the repeated playback.
With one loop playing, you record another loop, and another–until you’ve built up a multi-voice musical composition using the power of repetition. There are also gestures for muting loops and adding audio effects such as flange and reverb. And Holofunk supports two users for real-time collaboration. After Rob gave his presentation, he invited audience members to come up and try out Holofunk, which led to some interesting musical results.
It’s been fun watching Holofunk evolve, and I’m expecting even more cool stuff in the next iteration.