Xbox Kinect and Invisible instruments

I think most of the percussionists feel weary about transporting our instruments. That is why I have the idea of invisible instruments. This crazy idea leads me to the best computer player I have ever known, Felipe Ignacio Noriega. After a short meeting, we started this interesting project.

Felipe suggested we use the Kinect from Xbox, which contains camera inside to sense my movement, and he programs the sound for me so I can play in the space. We don’t have much of a budget, so we bought a second-hand Kinect and began experimenting. We went through lots of experimenting sessions to research what was possible, even finding out how to communicate with it through Felipe’s Hackintosh. This lead us to install the Open-Ni and NITE libraries, and other open source programs developed by other creative people who faced similar problems.

Slowly, we realized that most of the sessions were being spent in communicating and calibrating the sensor, finding coordinates, marking the space, debugging the OSC communication and other technicalities that were still very far from the actual musical piece.

Given that I had 2 planned presentations in the beginning of June we had to take a development shortcut so we could focus on the sounds and the music. We found a great software, Ni-mate, which allowed us to go to the next step. Ni-mate made the sensor a lot more stable and the OSC communication became easily customizable.

Now, in STEIM, we are able to focus on Supercollider and on how we are translating the movement and OSC messages into meaningful music events.

Big Thanks to STEIM to have us in residency. This is the best place for us to develop the whole performance. These studios are more than amazing. We have the best audio system, super great microphones to record the sound, friendly and nice people to support us in everything we need and a huge space for me to roll, to move, to dance to jump. We are very happy to be here two full days (26th and 27th of May) and these sessions will surely result in successful concerts next week!


 

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