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Touch My Spine And I’ll Sing To You

posted May 13, 2014, 7:50 AM by Ellen Pearlman


Dancer wearing spinal musical device for “Les Gests”, La chorégraphe Isabelle Van Grimde et les compositeurs Sean Ferguson et Marlon Schumacher


This device called “The Rib” is a “prosthetic instruments”


Video made from a demo in the Multimedia Room of the Schulich School of Music of McGill University (Montreal) in November 2012. The device is called “The Spine”

The extension of the body into new models of sound making prosthesis is part of the work of Joseph Malloch at the Input Device and Music Interaction Laboratory at McGill University.


Close up of “The Spine” designed by Joseph Malloch, Ian Hattwick, and Anthony Piciacchia


Joseph modelling his basic research before he made “The Spine”

Malloch says he is “using multiple inertial measurement units (IMUs) for tracking the orientation, bending, and twisting of deformable objects. Intertial measurement units generally contain 3-axis accelerometers, gyroscopes, and magnetometers – the data can be cleverly combined to obtain an estimate of orientation.” 

This is a little bit like people trying to do something similar with the gyroscope in the Oculus Rift, except they don’t have to render any pictures in this model, just make sounds. He used something called a Mongoose IMU board as his basic sensor.

In these examples there is sound, sculpture, synthetic prosthesis, design, software and hardware to make an incredible performance of "Les Gestes"

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